City officials reported a new positive case of COVID-19 in Unalaska Friday, bringing the total number of positive local cases to 96.
The individual who tested positive is an employee of Resolve-Magone Marine, a local company that handles marine and ship repair services in the Port of Dutch Harbor.
The company reports that the individual arrived in Unalaska via commercial air on July 20, and in accordance with the company's mitigation plan, went immediately into quarantine.
Upon receiving the positive test result, the employee was placed in isolation per state public health guidance, and close contacts are being identified through the state's contact tracing process, city officials said in a statement. Any direct contacts will be placed in a quarantined status for 14 days from the time of exposure, which is thought to be very limited in this case, they said.
"We have taken our preparations for COVID-19 very seriously and have implemented appropriate strategies to support our employee that has tested positive, the rest of our team, sub-contractors, and the community," said a Resolve-Magone spokesperson.
"Though exposure to the positive individual was very limited, we are contacting our sub-contractors to keep them informed of the situation and making adjustments to operations as indicated. We will also notify them when we've resumed normal operations after this situation is resolved. We are thankful for the support of the local Emergency Operations team and the State of Alaska as we move forward," they added.
Unalaska is not concerned about community spread at this time, and will not be increasing its assessment of the local risk level, which is currently set at "medium."
"I'm not overly concerned," said City Manager Erin Reinders. "Obviously, it's not quite the same as having a quarantine group. So one could speculate that this individual was flying with other people. Then I think back to well the fact is the state is doing contact tracing so if there's a need, then people will be contacted. I'm not overly concerned at this point, but obviously this reiterates the importance of doing all those protective measures regardless of the situation."
To date, this marks 96 positive cases of COVID-19 in Unalaska. This is the first positive case among Resolve-Magone employees. Whereas, 85 cases were among American Seafoods crew members last week, and one was a Pacific Stevedoring employee in early July.
Eight have been among Icicle Seafoods workers, and one was an employee of the Alaska Marine Highway System who tested positive for the virus in Unalaska on the M/V Tustumena's first ferry trip of the season. With the exception of one, all people identified with positive tests are not residents of Unalaska, according to the state's Department of Health and Social Services.