Kodiak Coast Guard base reports COVID-19 cases

A coast guard cutter mooring at a dock with  mountains in the background
The Kodiak Coast Guard Air Base (Photo by Chief Petty Officer Charly Hengen)

The Coast Guard says it’s moving quickly to contain a COVID-19 outbreak at the Kodiak Air Station this week. Six cases have been reported. Two include children.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ali Blackburn, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, said the children are dependents of Coast Guard members.

“Of the recent two, one child tested positive,” Blackburn said. “And one is exhibiting symptoms that keeps testing negative.”

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Blackburn said one of the children exposed to the virus attended an afternoon daycare center at the base, known as the Child Development Center Annex. The Coast Guard closed the facility and has asked those families with children who were also in the program to quarantine for fourteen days and report any symptoms of the virus.

“We also have on-base care teams to assist those families if they need groceries, medicine or anything,” Blackburn said.

The base has taken other steps to prevent the spread of the virus. The commissary and exchange have been closed. Also, all air station personnel are being tested for COVID-19.

“I just want to stress that our base command and personnel are cognizant of the COVID threat, and we’re doing our best to protect our community and fellow Kodiak members,” Blackburn said.

A school near the base, Peterson Elementary, closed on Wednesday after the Kodiak Island Borough School District was notified that a student had tested positive. The child is one of the six cases reported at the Coast Guard base.

The school underwent deep cleaning and disinfection on Thursday and is scheduled to reopen on Friday, although close contacts of the child exposed to the virus must remain at home under a two-week quarantine period and take classes remotely.

Blackburn says at least four crew members were involved in recent operations that took them off Kodiak Island, but none of these cases involve personal travel.

Until now, there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at the Kodiak Coast Guard base. Since April, there have been 80 positive tests in the Kodiak region.

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