Over Half The Students At Kenny Lake School In Quarantine Due To Covid Outbreak

 Kenny Lake Goes Back To Chrome Computer Learning As School Struck By The Virus  Kenny Lake garden. (Photo to the Journal, Neil Hannan)  Wit...

 Kenny Lake Goes Back To Chrome Computer Learning As School Struck By The Virus 

Kenny Lake garden. (Photo to the Journal, Neil Hannan) 

With No School Staff Nurses, Parents Must Depend On Themselves & The Advice Of Region's Overwhelmed "Health Providers" 

Thursday, September 17th, 2021.

Kenny Lake, the scattered farm community between Glennallen and Valdez on the Richardson Highway, is facing a Covid outbreak. Of the 50 students who attend Kenny Lake School, more than half are at home right now due to Covid.  A notice on the Copper River School District Facebook site confirmed the outbreak, which has affected an unknown number of children who have actually contracted the disease. The others are home and in quarantine because of the very close contact they had with those who came down sick. 

As a result, a majority of the children attending Kenny Lake School are now in quarantine. The children at Kenny Lake are in grade-mixed classes, and the Covid situation there is apparently in flux. 

According to School Superintendent Therese Ashton, the situation is changing at Kenny Lake School "on a day to day basis." 

The students who are at home have gone back to "chrome book" computer learning over the internet for now, she said. For the rest of the students, schooling is continuing, according to the school district's Facebook site. (Below) 

There are no school nurses in the Copper River School District. And there are no hospitals in the region either. So what happens if somebody becomes sick?

Apparently, parents make decisions on their children's health, based on information they receive after contacting their "health providers." The superintendent told the Journal, "A number are following Doctors' advice and staying quarantined." 

Who's a health provider? In the Copper Valley, the Copper River Native Association in Tazlina and Cross Road Medical Center are the area's primary designated health providers. 

Neither Cross Road or CRNA is an actual hospital, and CRNA just today delivered a warning that it was overtaxed by the current Covid crisis, and was having to prioritize who they could see. 

Some parents have "health providers" elsewhere they can go to for advice and medical assistance, most notably at private clinics in Anchorage. 

The few actual hospitals throughout Alaska (like those in the rest of the country) are in serious danger right now, due to the Delta variant. In Alaska they are deciding who they can and can't serve, based on how likely it is for their patients to even survive. This system, called "triage" is typically reserved for major disasters, such as bombings, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis, when large numbers of victims are all stricken at once. 

It's national news that Providence Hospital in Anchorage has emergency room patients waiting in the parking lot in their cars because there are no beds available for them inside the building. At Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, patients are being kept in office rooms and hallways as their bed space has also run out. 

In the Copper Valley, there is apparently no unified approach to what to do when a child or family member is exposed to, or actually gets Covid. "People are making choices based on their own health care providers," said the superintendent.

The health providers they go to tend to have somewhat different protocols, and recommended testing schedules. 

Meanwhile, the school district is trying to slow the spread. Therese Ashton, the superintendent, told the Journal they're trying to "keep kids in the same groups" -- something the district calls "a cohort" and the general population has come to know as maintaining  "a bubble." 

The superintendent advises parents that if they have any question whatsoever to...
"Talk to your health care provider. Testing is a good option." 

And, she added, "If you're sick, don't come to school." 

Less than two weeks ago, the Journal repeated the following advice from the school district regarding Covid.


Labor Day Message From Glennallen School...
Regarding School Safety & Covid 

Covid Update: Glennallen Elementary, September 6, 2021 

We have had several parents ask how Glennallen Schools is handling Covid this year. Here is what we are doing:

  • We are in Cohorts, K-2, 3-5, Middle School, and High School.
  • We encourage masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
  • If there is a positive case in the school, the Administrator of the student has called families of students who may have been exposed. 
  • Parents are encouraged to follow their Health Provider's direction.
  • We rely on parents to call the school to say their child has been exposed or tested positive and to voluntarily keep them home until cleared.


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