Dare we say that Ketchikan has done a wonderful job in keeping the number of novel coronavirus cases low.
The number of cases here stands at 16, and it’s been that number for almost three and a half weeks. The goal this week is to reach four weeks.
That would be next Monday. The last positive test came on April 20.
Of the 16 cases, 13 were reported in March. Only three came along in April.
The trend in cases is definitely flat.
This is due to an early response to COVID-19. Ketchikan’s Emergency Operations Center took the warnings seriously and activated state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
Residents took mainly one of two points of view: 1. EOC had the right idea, or, 2. It was overreacting.
But like it was noted at the time, it was better to over react than under respond.
Donning masks, washing hands, wearing gloves, observing physical distancing protocols, and, perhaps most effective but least popular of all, quarantining, combined to limit disease in Ketchikan.
Not only did these methods help deter the spread of COVID-19, they likely reduced the numbers of other types of flu and head colds that typically show up.
Washing hands regularly through the pandemic is a habit to be retained in years to come.
As the community and state relaxes the guidelines, the governments work toward reopening their doors and the number of businesses with operating hours expands, it would do Ketchikan well to keep hand washing. Wiping down counters, carts, door handles and multiple-user equipment also is a practice to retain.
What the community wants to avoid is stepping backward into another restricting COVID response here. It has too much healing of its COVID-impacted economy to do now.
But it will heal.
The EOC — along with Ketchikan residents — limited the extent of COVID. The Dunleavy administration showed the leadership required for the situation.
As a result, the administration has begun lifting restrictions, the latest an in-state travel ban. As of Tuesday, Alaskans may travel between communities.
This is one step in getting back to business as usual. It’s happening as soon as it is because the community worked together with a single purpose of overcoming the virus.
The result is evident.