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Haines Confirms First COVID-19 Case

HAINES – On Sunday, June 7, Officials announced the first confirmed coronavirus (COVID19) case in the community of Haines. The male patient was exhibiting symptoms and contacted Haines Health Center (HHC) on Wednesday, June 3, and received a COVID-19 test in the alternate, tent screening site. The patient is currently being monitored virtually and remains quarantined at home.

SEARHC staff are working with the State to complete contract tracing and notify anyone who may have come in contact with the individual. An investigation is currently underway to identify the source of the virus. The confirmed patient had not recently traveled.

“HHC staff and community of Haines have gone to great lengths to prepare for the first COVID case,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl. “Due to the high level of preparedness by SEARHC Incident Command and the Haines Emergency Operations Center, protocols are in place to properly respond to positive cases and treat COVID patients. HHC staff will continue to follow organizational guidelines and increase precautions to safely continue patient care.”

SEARHC’s Incident Command System (ICS) has worked diligently to prepare staff and facilities throughout the region for COVID-19 patients. At HHC screening is required prior to entry for both patients and staff, equipment has been inventoried and stocked, and all SEARHC staff receive regular COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 testing is available in Haines to all patients who meet current symptomatic criteria, regardless of travel or exposure history. Please call the HHC at 907.766.6300 to schedule a test or an appointment.

Patients with chronic illnesses, or considered high-risk, should contact their provider immediately if they show symptoms. Low-risk patients are urged to self-isolate should they become sick.

Continued adherence to virus preventive practices is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, including face masking; frequent hand washing for the recommended 20 seconds; covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects; and getting an influenza vaccination. SEARHC encourages residents to follow all local, state and federal mandates and practice social distancing. Visit covid19.searhc.org for the latest coronavirus information, or to find the provider nearest you.