Cold Bay enters Code Red status after multiple COVID-19 cases reported

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 1:39 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Aleutians East Borough has announced a Code Red status for the City of Cold Bay on Monday after a “handful of positive resident” COVID-19 cases were reported in the community.

Code Red status means all city facilities including the workout room, library and city offices will be closed to the public, the Aleutians East Borough said in a Facebook post.

The statement continued to say a public health official will contact any resident that has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Cold Bay has around 100 residents and is joined by Sand Point, King Cove, Akutan, Nelson Lagoon and False Pass as communities within the Aleutians East Borough.

The Eastern Aleutian Tribes, Inc. said one additional Cold Bay resident has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. In a statement, CEO Paul Mueller said residents should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance including limiting unnecessary travel, social distancing and wearing a face covering.

“Eastern Aleutian Tribes is working closely with Alaska Public Health and the city of Cold Bay to ensure precautions are taken to protect anyone who may have been in close contact with the individual,” Mueller said in a statement posted to the Eastern Aleutian Tribes Facebook. “How the individual contracted the virus is under investigation.”

On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said local entities and airlines that service Cold Bay have decided to cancel scheduled large air carrier service to the Cold Bay Airport until Dec. 1. In a statement, the department said the airport will remain open for aircraft rescue and fire fighting services.

The borough is estimated to have around 3,000 residents, according to U.S. Census data but has reported 25 total COVID-19 cases in residents and nonresidents since the pandemic began. On Monday, the Department of Health and Social Services said the borough was reporting three new COVID-19 cases.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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