On The Move: CRNA Lists 8 Local Positive Counts Through Its Testing System By July 16th

CRNA Reports Big Jump: 8 Positive Cases Of Covid-19 As One More Added On July 16th. Anyone Ca n Get Tested. Positive covid tests are o...

CRNA Reports Big Jump: 8 Positive Cases Of Covid-19 As One More Added On July 16th. Anyone Can Get Tested.

Positive covid tests are on the rise. One more was added at CRNA alone on July 16th.This is just one of a number of testing locations in the region, so there is a strong possibility there may be more.

 UPDATE NOTICE: As of July 17th, there were 10 positive cases.  And as of July 24th there were 37.  

After a long period of time in which there were two positive tests for Covid-19 that had been conducted by the Copper River Native Association and were listed on the CRNA Facebook page, the CRNA positive results have increased.  

CRNA performs coronavirus tests in Tazlina at the Robert Marshall Community Medical Center and also in Cantwell, which is 135 miles across the Denali Highway from Paxson. Cantwell is an Ahtna village with strong ties to the Copper Valley and its residents. For months, the CRNA Facebook site had listed it had 'zero' positive tests at its facility. (This does not mean zero positive tests overall in the region -- just CRNA-conducted testing.)  Then, for a while, there were two positive tests CRNA had conducted. Now there are 8, with at least one of those positive tests  in Cantwell. 

The number of known positives in the Copper Valley is difficult to analyze from the outside. Medical privacy laws, known as HIPAA, protect the names and identities of patients. But in Alaska, HIPAA apparently also protects the names of villages and small communities under 1,000 people -- as if those villages were literally individuals and that if medical personnel identified a place (for example) "Chitina" has having a single case that would be against the HIPAA law. The theory is that a village or small roadside community is so small that it's exactly the same as literally saying "Joe Smith" has coronavirus.

Copper Valley residents are listed in the "Valdez-Cordova Census" area when local cases are discussed on TV or in the paper.  This is in spite of the fact that Cordova is completely unreachable from the Copper Valley, except by standard forms of air transport from larger airports, or traditionally by ferry. Valdez is around 100 miles from most of the Copper Valley -- or farther. The Copper Valley itself, which has a population of perhaps 3,000 people, is three times the size of the 1,000 cutoff point, but the state does not see the Copper Valley as a named larger entity, apparently due to its non-borough, non-incorporated status. 

Nevertheless, on July 16th, the state of Alaska identified a member of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute staff as having coronavirus -- apparently without worrying about revealing his or her identity. 

This makes it next to impossible for Copper Valley people to be able to understand the full impact of the coronavirus on the community. There are multiple virus testing sites in the region. For example, when CRNA got testing capability this spring, so did Cross Road Medical Center, Chistochina, and another small Cross Road-related roadside facility on the Tok Cutoff. 

There have been other coronavirus cases, obviously, beyond those found by CRNA. 
On June 17th, Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium wrote on its Facebook page:

Mt Sanford Tribal Consortium was informed Wednesday morning of a confirmed positive Covid-19 result from a visitor to Chistochina over the weekend of June 13-14. Chistochina clinic is testing individuals who came into contact with the positive case via a private event over the weekend. Currently we ask that everyone stay home and if you cannot stay home to follow the physical distancing guidelines of 6 or more ft between people and to wear a mask when out of your home.

If you have concerns about exposure or questions call the clinic at 822-3280.

Chistochina clinic can assist you with getting cloth masks if you do not have anything but supplies are limited, call if you would like assistance or have questions on prevention.


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