COVID-19

Conflicting numbers from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the City of Seward both indicate an increase in the number of positive cases of coronavirus in Seward.

The state announced two new cases through the reporting period ending at midnight last night, for a total of 10 cases. The city announced 10 new cases today.

The state’s numbers represented those officially reported to the state, the city’s numbers come directly from the local testing facilities and may have not been included in the state’s numbers until the following day. Based upon the city’s reporting, the total number of cases is 18, with 14 of them being reported in the past several days.

According to the city, Seward Community Health Center has performed over 100 tests since the current outbreak began, and Glacier Family Medicine has performed over 200.

The increase in the number of positive cases is related to an outbreak that started after two of the members of the band Blackwater Railroad Company tested positive following a performance in Seward. The band had been to Anchorage and Fairbanks for performances prior to the performance in Seward.

According to a post on Facebook, Tyson Davis with the band Blackwater Railroad Company said he begin to show symptoms of the COVID-19 disease on June 23 and tested positive for the virus.

“Hello Seward friends. There’s no easy way to say this. I woke up not feeling well yesterday, started self quarantining, got a doctors appointment, got tested this morning and found out that I have tested positive for the Coronavirus,” Davis wrote Thursday afternoon. “If you have come into contact with me in the last two weeks, please go get tested at your earliest opportunity. I will be quarantined at least for the next two weeks,” he wrote. “I thought I was taking precautions and being safe but apparently not safe enough. Though we had already canceled all of our BWRR shows for the rest of the summer... I was still too late. I’m cancelling all my shows for the foreseeable future. I don’t mean to alarm any one with this post but I felt obligated to let my community know as soon as I found out. They are doing free testing even without insurance at Seward Community Health at Providence. Please be safe.”

The Seward Alehouse posted on Facebook that one of their staff members also tested positive.

“As you may be already aware, one of our staff members has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently quarantined, resting, and on track towards a healthy recovery. We cannot emphasize enough how much we care for the safety of our staff, community, and patrons.”

According to the city, the following business have closed as a result of the positive tests. Many local Seward businesses in the downtown area have taken proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers by closing temporarily. Those businesses include:

Seward Alehouse, Seward Brewing Company, The Cookery, The Lone Chicharron, The Tufted Puffin, Tony’s Bar, and Yukon Bar.

Following Friday’s announcement of the positive test results the state has recommended testing for individuals that might have been in the Seward Ale House or the Yukon Bar at the same time infected individuals were in those establishments. According to an update from the city, new exposure times for recommended testing are for those that were in the Seward Alehouse during these times.

Sunday, June 21 noon to 7 p.m.

Monday, June 22 from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Tuesday, June 23 from noon to 12:30 a.m.

And for anyone in the Yukon Bar anytime on Tuesday, June 23 should be tested.

Testing is available at the Seward Community Health Center weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. or at Glacier Family Medicine Monday through Thursday by appointment.

Call the health center at (907) 224-2273 for more information on testing or if you are experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

  • Symptoms include
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Emergency warning signs for COVID-19are:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

If someone is showing any of the emergency warning signs, they should call 911 or seek emergency medical care immediately.

Michael Paschall is the publisher of the Seward Journal and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@sewardjournal.com.

Publisher

Michael Paschall is publisher of the Seward Journal and president of TriDelta, Incorporated Publishing, owners of the Seward Journal.