Valdez COVID-19 Community Updates

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Free COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing happening on Oct. 24, 25 and 26

A company called the Capstone Clinic from the greater Anchorage area will offer a FREE Drive-Thru COVID-19 Test Clinic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 24, 25 and 26, at the front entrance of the Valdez Civic Center. This testing is available for any member of the Valdez general public and for anyone who is COVID-19 asymptomatic or symptomatic. 

You simply need to register through the Capstone website, www.covidsecureapp.com, and select “Sign Up” on the website. You will not have to provide health insurance information if you do not have health insurance, OR, if you are not comfortable with providing this health insurance information through the website. If you have problems registering, Capstone will have staff available the days of the drive-thru clinic to assist. 

You do not have to schedule an appointment for the clinic. Just register through the website above and treat the Civic Center front entrance hill as a loop for the drive-thru from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Oct. 24, 25 or 26. If you don’t see anyone near the front entrance, feel free to give a car honk. Photo identification will be required the day of. 

Testing results will be sent within a half hour to the e-mail address you registered with. Delays may occur if several vehicles show up at once, but Capstone will be including an additional staff member to help, which will hopefully speed up the process. 

The number of positive and negative tests will be updated with all other testing numbers from Valdez medical providers, which will be included in the Valdez COVID-19 Dashboard Updates that happen on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, available at www.valdezak.gov/covid-19. 

Please consider getting testing during this drive-thru clinic to help reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 occurring in our community.

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Valdez Case Count Dashboard

Valdez Case Count 102021

Valdez Case Count Dashboard Update Synopsis - Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Data and amplifying notes on this dashboard provided directly by DHSS Public Health. 

Current Total of Active Local Cases: 105
Note 1: This total number of active cases is current as of midnight on 10.19.2021 and includes 95 active resident cases, four active non-resident cases, and six active "other Alaskan" cases. This dashboard update includes new data recorded since the update yesterday.

Dashboard Update Notes (10.19.2021) 

  • Residents
    • Two resident recoveries.
    • Six new resident cases. 
      • Three adults and three minors. 
      • Patient symptom status unknown due to limited information collected by testing provider at time of testing.
  • Non-Residents
    • No changes.
  • Other Alaskans
    • No changes.

Other Dashboard Notes

Note 2: Data reported within this local dashboard is reported in real-time. Data reported at the state level thru the DHSS Response Hub (which is what you see may see reflected in statewide news coverage) often includes a data entry delay.

Note 3: Data regarding COVID-19 deaths are only recorded on this dashboard once the patient's cause of death has been confirmed by DHSS Public Health. 

Note 4: According to DHSS, we may no longer report vaccination status of new positive patients in our local dashboard notes. This change to how we report local data is effective as of 10.11.2021. Please visit the DHSS Response Hub for aggregate numbers regarding break-thru cases. 

Note 5: "Residents" are those who list Valdez as their place of residence. "Non-residents" are those who test positive while in Valdez, but live outside Alaska. "Other Alaskans" are those who test positive while in Valdez, but list another Alaskan community as their place of residence.

Note 6: "Other Alaskan" cases do not technically count towards the Valdez case count. They are counted in their home community within Alaska under current CDC and DHSS guidelines even if they test positive while physically present in Valdez. We mention "other Alaskan cases" in our dashboard notes to provide a clear picture of identified infections present in the community. "Other Alaskan" cumulative case numbers are not included in the dashboard graphic above, as those numbers have not been specifically tracked since the start of the pandemic.

Note 7: As a reminder "active" versus "recovered" is based upon the patient being in public health directed isolation. Patients may still experience symptoms long after they are considered recovered. When a previously "recovered" patient experiences worsening symptoms or requires hospitalization, public health moves the patient back into the "active" category. 

Note 8: Adults are those 18 years of age and older. Minors are those 17 years of age and younger. 

Changes to the Valdez Case Count Dashboard

Starting August 20, 2021, the Valdez COVID-19 case count dashboard has temporarily shifted from weekly updates to updates on Monday/Wednesday/Friday (usually before noon) when there are changes to data provided by Public Health regarding new cases, recoveries, hospitalizations, or deaths. 

To view statewide case counts and other data, visit the DHSS Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub: https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

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Valdez Community Mask Mandate

Valdez City Council Approves Community Face Masking from Oct. 1 through Nov. 3

The Valdez City Council voted in favor of COVID-19 Public Health Mandate #4.  This mandate requires protective face masks or cloth facial coverings for all people in Valdez over the age of five when they are in an indoor public setting or indoor communal space in Valdez. This mandate is effective at 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 through Nov. 3 unless otherwise extended or rescinded by a vote of the Valdez City Council. Please review the mandate below for information on situations and people that might be exempt from this mandate.  The mandate was issued in response to a surge in COVID cases that are straining the local and statewide healthcare systems to the point where they have been forced to implement Crisis Standards of Care. The City of Valdez asks that Valdez “Mask Up” and be kind as we work to mitigate COVID-19 in our community.

Click here to read the full COVID-19 Public Health Mandate 004 – Mask Mandate.

Click here to download a 'Masks Required' Sign for businesses to print and post.

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Valdez Local Government Disaster Declaration

Valdez Declares a Local Government Disaster (COVID-19) on September 29, 2021

After a series of Valdez City Council special meetings to discuss the current COVID-19 situation in Valdez and the status of our local hospital, Mayor Scheidt signed a local government disaster declaration today, September 29, 2021. The declaration states "a local disaster emergency, as defined by Alaska Statute and Valdez Municipal Code, does exist within the City of Valdez due to impacts from the pandemic on our local hospital and the ability of healthcare providers to care for the sick or injured".

Click here to read the full local government disaster declaration.

Click here for a brief synopsis of what a local disaster declaration means under Alaska Statute and Valdez Municipal Code.

Click here to watch the video recordings of the Valdez City Council special meetings discussing this topic.

Under State Statute and Valdez Municipal Code, the declaration expires in seven days unless otherwise rescinded or extended by a majority vote of the Valdez City Council. 

On September 30th, the Valdez City Council passed Resolution #21-40 extending the local government disaster declaration until rescinded by Valdez City Council. "The established benchmark for revisiting this declaration is set as the point in time when the Providence Alaska medical system no longer needs to operate under crisis standards of care or the second regular City Council meeting in December 2021, whichever occurs first."

Click here to read Resolution #21-40.

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Valdez City Council
COVID-19 Proclamation - 09.23.2021

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE PROCLAMATION

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE RECORDING OF THE COUNCIL MEETING 
WHERE THIS PROCLAMATION WAS DISCUSSED 

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the health and well-being of Valdez, with cases surging locally, as well as across the state and nation; and 

WHEREAS, the delta variant is highly contagious and can more easily spread between people as compared to previous strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; and 

WHEREAS, Providence Anchorage Medical Center has publicly stated the number and severity of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 now exceeds their resources and their ability to staff beds with skilled caregivers to the point they are now forced to implement crisis standards of care; and 

WHEREAS, availability of hospital resources in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the greater Pacific Northwest, may impact the ability of Providence Valdez Medical Center to transfer critical patients suffering from not just COVID-19 but all types of serious illness or injury, for more specialized, potentially life-saving care; and

WHEREAS, many of our local healthcare professionals are overwhelmed and burnt out following 18 months of fighting the pandemic; and 

WHEREAS, many local Valdez businesses have recently had to make the tough decision to temporarily close their doors due to employee illness or COVID-19 exposure; and 

WHEREAS, the Valdez School District has been at the red operational level, which includes universal masking requirements, for several weeks with many students and staff absent due to illness or quarantine; and

WHEREAS, to avoid more drastic steps and the issuance of local health mandates, we must all do our part now to meet the goals of (1) keeping local schools open to in-person learning, (2) keeping the doors of local businesses open, and (3) ensuring our local hospital maintains the ability to treat those sick or injured; and 

WHEREAS, our community holds dear our long-standing tradition during challenging times of putting aside our differences and coming together for the greater good.

NOW THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Valdez hereby issues this Proclamation, imploring our residents and visitors to work together over the next four weeks as follows:

  1. Please avoid going to work or school when sick or exposed to COVID-19. Get tested to rule out COVID-19. Many people honestly mistake mild symptoms as a common cold and transmit the virus unintentionally to others. Symptomatic testing is available at multiple locations in Valdez at no cost to the patient. Monitoring infection rates through testing provides critical data our local medical professionals use to make important decisions and prepare for the health needs of our community.

  2. Please follow CDC guidelines related to testing, isolation, and quarantine. CDC guidelines as of September 18, 2021 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html 

  3. Please consider implementing workforce policies for your business or organization to encourage employees to stay home and get tested if sick. Investing in the health of your employees can sometimes mean the difference between your business staying open and having to close your doors due to absent employees. 

  4. Please be respectful of those conducting contact tracing. These public health workers are doing an important job and must comply with privacy rules to protect your identity and health information. Please answer their call and help them notify others who might be at risk. 

  5. Please wear a mask indoors, regardless of your vaccination status. Masks are not perfect, nor foolproof, but they do help. Masks are especially important if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, are not vaccinated, or have recently participated in large gatherings or other activities where transmission occurs more frequently. 

  6. Please be respectful of mitigation guidelines established by local businesses and organizations while in their establishments. Businesses and organizations are trying their best to keep their workforce and patrons healthy. They have authority to establish their own mitigation measures and may continue to trespass individuals who fail to follow guidelines.

  7. Please consider COVID-19 vaccination for you and your family. Vaccination is the best way of preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. Please make informed decisions based upon factual information. Speak with your trusted medical provider about your specific situation and the benefits and risks of vaccination. All brands of vaccine are readily available in Valdez at no cost to the patient. Booster vaccinations are also available for high-risk individuals who qualify under current CDC guidelines. 

  8. Please consider COVID-19 vaccination even if you have had COVID-19 in the past. Natural antibodies from a past infection provide an undisputable layer of protection. Addition of even one dose of COVID-19 vaccination in combination with natural antibodies lengthens and strengthens protections against the virus. 

  9. Please carefully consider risk regarding indoor events and social functions. In order to protect yourself, your family, and our community, carefully consider the risks versus benefits when attending social functions. If you are hosting an event, consider keeping it small in size or moving it outdoors. Please also consider consulting the City’s COVID-19 Event Mitigation Guide (available for free on the city website) to reduce the risk of exposure at your event.  

  10. Please do what Valdezeans do best – work together to support each other so we can keep our community healthy, our children in school, and our businesses open. 

DATED this 23rd day of September, 2021. 
CITY OF VALDEZ, ALASKA 
Sharon Scheidt, Mayor

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Local Resources Related to COVID-19

Please forward all health, symptoms, screening, quarantine, or isolation related questions to your physician or the Valdez public health nurse (907.835.4612).

City of Valdez Points of Contact (as of 09.30.2021):

Local Resource Links:

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