Valdez COVID-19 Community Updates

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Valdez Case Count Dashboard

Valdez Case Count 09222021

Valdez Case Count Dashboard Update Synopsis - Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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

  • Current Total of Active Local Cases: 71
    • Note 1: This total number of active cases is current as of midnight on 09.21.2021 and includes 64 active resident cases, five active non-resident cases, and two active "other Alaskan" cases.
  • Dashboard Update Notes (09.20.2021 - 09.21.2021) 
    • Resident
      • 10 resident recoveries.
      • 23 new resident cases.
        • 16 adults and 7 minors
        • 21 with symptoms and two asymptomatic.
        • 21 non-vaccinated. Two vaccinated and considered break-thru cases.
    • Non-Residents
      • One new non-resident case. 
        • Adult. 
        • No additional information on symptoms or vaccination status at this time.
    • Other Alaskans
      • One new other Alaskan case. Non-vaccinated adult with symptoms.
  • Note 2: "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 3: "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 4: 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. 

NEW! 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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COVID-19 Testing Options in Valdez

Several different options exist in Valdez for symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. 

All options are by appointment only and, in most cases, at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Please note, under state/federal guidelines and testing center contracts with the city, testing providers are authorized to charge a patient's insurance for certain types of administrative fees associated with COVID-19 testing. 

UPDATE (09.22.2021): Due to a nationwide shortage of testing supplies, rapid testing options at all testing locations in Valdez are now limited to symptomatic people or those directed to complete a rapid test by public health. PCR testing is available to all othersPCR testing turnaround time is currently three to five days, so please plan ahead. Please also consider testing at the Anchorage airport instead of in Valdez if you are traveling and flying in/out of Alaska.

If you are a business or organization seeking testing for a group of five or more people, please contact a testing location at least 48 hours in advance of your desired appointment date. This helps ensure local testing locations have enough time to coordinate personnel and testing equipment to accommodate your request.

Rapid Testing Options - For Symptomatic Individuals Only

  • The Valdez Medical Clinic offers symptomatic rapid testing by appointment only, Sunday thru Thursday. Please call 907.831.6441 to discuss your situation and schedule a testing appointment.
  • The Alfa Doc offers symptomatic rapid testing by appointment only, Monday thru Friday. Please call 907.835.ALFA (2532) to discuss your situation and schedule a testing appointment.
  • Valdez City Schools offers symptomatic rapid testing for school district students and employees only. Please call HHES at 907.835.4728 to schedule a testing appointment with the school nurse.

PCR Testing Options - For all asymptomatic individuals, close contacts, travel testing, employment screening purposes, and pre-procedure testing. 

  • Providence Valdez Medical Center offers state of Alaska PCR testing by appointment only on Monday and Thursday afternoons. Call 907.255.6063 to discuss your situation and schedule a testing appointment. (This is NOT a rapid testing option.)
  • The Valdez Medical Clinic offers asymptomatic PCR testing by appointment only, Sunday thru Thursday. Please call 907.831.6441 to discuss your situation and schedule a testing appointment.
  • The Alfa Doc offers asymptomatic PCR testing by appointment only, Monday thru Friday. Please call 907.835.ALFA (2532) to discuss your situation and schedule a testing appointment.
  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the Valdez Public Health Clinic (907.835.4612) or your healthcare provider prior to making your PCR testing appointment as timing for your test is dependent on the date of your last exposure.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

COVID-19 Vaccine in Valdez

Everyone - Alaskans and visitors - are eligible!

All three brands of COVID-19 vaccine are available in Valdez. Appointments are required.

Booster vaccinations are also available for those eligible under current CDC guidelines.

Making Your Vaccine Appointment
As of May 2021, large vaccination POD clinics at the Civic Center have concluded. 

Vaccination administration is now offered in a clinical setting by the following Valdez providers:
DHSS Valdez Public Health Clinic (907.835.4612), The Alfa Doc (907.835.2532), and thru some local employers.

  • If you still need your vaccine, please contact one of the providers listed above to discuss your situation and arrange your appointment.
  • If you are a business or organization looking to schedule vaccination for your employees or clients/customers, please contact one of the providers listed above to discuss your situation.

Those being vaccinated will make an appointment for their second dose of vaccine, if applicable, during their first dose appointment. Both doses must be the same brand of vaccine. 

Logistical Support for Community Partners
The City of Valdez purchased specialized refrigeration units designed to support cold and/or frozen storage of the several different types of vaccine currently available or in development. The City also received COVID-19 vaccine storage depot designation from the State of Alaska in the event storage support is needed for community partners or nearby communities in the future.  

Valdez Vaccination Rate Data

To view the most up-to-date vaccine numbers for Valdez, please visit the DHSS Response Hub:https://alaska-coronavirus-vaccine-outreach-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com 

On the DHSS Response Hub website, click on "download summary table". Once the spreadsheet opens, select Tab 7 to see Valdez vaccine data. 

Click Here for State of Alaska DHSS COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Click Here for CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

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Information Resources - UC Demobilized Blurb 082021

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Local Resources Related to COVID-19

For questions or for general information, email: PIO@valdezak.gov or call the Valdez Public Health Clinic at 907.835.4612.

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

If you would like a medical provider to speak to your organization about COVID-19 topics, please message SWAN thru Facebook (link below) or send an email to rhonda.wegner@providence.org

Local Resource Links:

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Local Disaster Declaration & Valdez Health Mandate 003 Automatically Expired May 7, 2021

Since February 2020, our community worked together to put processes and infrastructure in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Our public information team rapidly deployed a robust COVID-19 communications program to keep the community educated and informed. Community partners from all corners of Valdez came together to collaborate, share resources, and reduce the impacts of COVID-19 as much as possible. The Valdez Unified Command established an alternate care site to assist with triage and treatment of COVID-19 patients. Thankfully, the alternate care site was not needed and demobilized. Contracts for home oxygen units were established to ensure those with less severe symptoms could be treated in the comfort of their homes. Essentially, Valdez did what Valdez does best…We came together quickly to support and take care of each other. 

Valdez now has a robust COVID-19 testing program in place, with both PCR and rapid testing options offered at no cost to the patient. Almost 30 different first, second, or single dose local vaccine POD clinics - staffed almost exclusively by volunteers - were held over four months for anyone choosing to vaccinate. Ample supplies of vaccine remain available for those who need a little more time to decide if vaccination is right for them. Our community also now understands the science behind transmission of the virus which causes COVID-19 and how to take personal responsibility to prevent further spread. 

While the pandemic is not yet over, Valdez was well positioned in May 2021 to transition out of active emergency response into everyday COVID-19 precautions. With this in mind, the Local COVID-19 Disaster Declaration and Valdez Health Mandate 003 automatically expired on May 7. Following expiration of the declaration and mandate, some things changed and other things remained the same.

Watch our video series on the response transition here: https://bit.ly/2R1k5ug

 

Following the expiration of Local Public Health Mandate 003 (Mask Mandate) on May 7:

  • Wearing masks continues to be strongly encouraged in indoor public or communal settings, especially for those who are not yet fully vaccinated, cannot be vaccinated, or choose not to vaccinate.
  • Local business and organizations continue to have authority to require that their employees and customers/clients wear a mask in their establishments. Local business and organizations continue to have the authority to trespass someone for not following their policy on masking.
  • Wearing masks continues to be required by healthcare providers in their facilities and offices.
  • Wearing masks continues to be required by the federal government while on or in Valdez Pioneer Airport property for the near future.
  • Valdez City Schools and local childcare facilities continue to follow mask wearing policies established by their respective governing boards. 

 Following the expiration of the Local COVID-19 Disaster Declaration on May 7:

  • COVID-19 Response Personnel: The Valdez Unified Command demobilized on May 8th and those individuals staffing incident management roles have returned to their routine duties. City staff, our local medical providers, and other community partners continue to collaborate to keep Valdez safe and healthy.
     
  • COVID-19 Vaccination: Free COVID-19 vaccination for those 12 years of age and older remains available in Valdez.
    • The Valdez Public Health Clinic – with support from City staff and community partners - continue to coordinate vaccination events,
    • Vaccinations are also now available thru The Alfa Doc.
    • Please contact the Valdez Public Health Clinic or The Alfa Doc to discuss your situation and schedule your vaccination appointment. 
  • COVID-19 Testing: COVID-19 testing remains available in Valdez at no cost to the patient.
  • City supported testing centers at Valdez Medical Clinic and The Alfa Doc will continue thru the end of 2021.
  • The City supported testing center at Valdez City Schools continued thru the end of the 2020-2021 school year, and then was reestablished for the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Providence Valdez Medical Center continues to offer testing. 
  • The City is working to purchase three additional Abbott testing machines to distribute at no cost to the school district and physician offices, if needed.
  • The City is supporting onsite testing contracts with our local fish processors from mid-May until September.
     
  • Economic Recovery: City Economic Recovery programs and grants remain in place. Other financial assistance programs for small businesses, families, and individuals from the state and federal governments remain available.

  • Events: COVID-19 mitigation plans continue to be required for events using City property or resources thru the summer.

  • Communications: Information related to COVID-19 has shifted from the Valdez Unified Command back to normal community communication channels. 
    • This website has been rebranded as the “Community COVID-19 Updates” website and continues to be updated with important local information related to COVID-19.
    • Updates to the local case count dashboard, including notes on transmission sources and trends, has shifted from daily reporting to reporting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, excluding holidays. Weekly dashboard updates will be posted exclusively on the “Community COVID-19 Updates” website.
    • The Valdez Unified Command Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VUCRG) is inactive as of May 8.
    • Important information about how to stay safe and healthy in Valdez, as well as information regarding vaccinations and the science of COVID-19 from our local medical community has shifted to the Sound Wellness Alliance Network (SWAN) Facebook page (www.facebook.com/swanalaska). 
    • Information about city-related news has shifted to the City of Valdez Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CityofValdez). 
    • Please follow both the SWAN and City pages to continue to receive important updates in your Facebook newsfeed.   
    • Informational posters related to testing options, vaccine distribution, and official COVID-19 information sources remain posted in key locations throughout Valdez. 
    • The Valdez Unified Command weekly news release was discontinued, with the last edition published on May 7.
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Social (Physical) Distancing An Insightful Infographic