Kake on lockdown following COVID-19 positive resident

A photo taken from the water of a handful of painted wooden houses and a church steeple with mountains in the backgrorund.
Kake, Alaska in 2012 (Photo from DCRA Community Photo Database)

The Southeast community of Kake’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported on Monday. Health authorities say the patient is a woman in her 60s with symptoms of the coronavirus.

The Kupreanof Island community has gone into lockdown. City, tribal and other public offices have shut down with rapid testing beginning for all residents in alphabetical order.

And the clinic operated by SEARHC has also been closed for deep cleaning and sanitation. That’s all according to information released Monday afternoon by the city clerk on social media

The tribal health consortium confirmed the COVID-19 case but did not immediately answer questions of why its clinic is being sanitized.

Meanwhile, the city is distributing applications for residents to undergo rapid testing beginning Monday evening. The first priority is given to close contacts with the woman whose identity is known within the close-knit community of around 500 people.

Swabs will be sent to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka with results expected within 24 hours.

Kake has a predominantly Alaska Native population. Its local government has instituted some of the strictest COVID-19 precautions in the region. A mask mandate requiring all non-residents to cover their face was put into force last week. A 14-day quarantine remains in effect for all out-of-state visitors to the community.