The COVID-screening station at Sitka Rocky Gutierrez International Airport (KCAW/McKinstry)

Another person in Sitka has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Local health officials announced the new case today (8-7-20). The non-resident is in his forties. He did not have symptoms when he was tested for the virus on August 3. 

He is now isolating and state health officials have begun the contact tracing process, according to a city press release. 

Since April, 27 Sitkans have tested positive for the coronavirus. Thirteen non-residents have tested positive, making 40 total cases.  One patient who was hospitalized has since recovered. In an email to KCAW, public health nurse Denise Ewing wrote that the patient has “been improving at home.”

Only three of Sitka’s cases remain active, according to city data. 

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, however, is reporting more active cases and a lower total case count. KCAW asked Ewing about data discrepancies between state’s data and the city’s. Ewing said that the local numbers are “the most timely and accurate,” and “we do not want to hold back information allowing the state to catch up.” 

Ewing also said that the state is now prioritizing all high-risk positive cases in the contact tracing process. She said they’re still doing full contact tracing for “low-risk cases” but are asking the patients to reach out to their contacts themselves, and provide them with necessary quarantine information. The contacts of “low-risk” cases will not receive check-ins directly from the state, but Ewing said they should still take their 14-day quarantine seriously. 

Read our full Q&A with Sitka’s public health nurse here