The Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

The Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

Homer announces first case of COVID-19 in resident who has isolated in Anchorage

Homer resident contracted illness while traveling, has not returned to Homer

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the Homer resident who tested positive for COVID-19 had been traveling Outside.

A Homer resident has tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, the person had been traveling, reported symptoms in Anchorage when they returned and remains in isolation in Anchorage.

The City of Homer and the Homer Emergency Operations Center Unified Command announced in a Wednesday afternoon press release that the Homer resident tested positive for COVID-19 after they had been traveling outside of Alaska in the Lower 48.

The person “self reported” when they arrived back in Alaska by airplane and were tested in Anchorage, according to the release. The person will remain in Anchorage for isolation until they are cleared by public health officials.

“We’d like to thank the client for fully cooperating with public health officials in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Public Health Nurses and Alaska’s Section of Epidemiology are working closely with the client, healthcare providers, and close contacts to identify anyone who may have been significantly exposed,” said Homer Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll in the press release. “We will continue to keep the public informed through all communication channels. Social distancing is critical. Stay home as much as possible even if you’re healthy, and stay away from those more vulnerable to severe illness. Continue checking in with each other, always maintaining a safe distance. Feeling connected makes a difference.”

With the addition of this case in a Homer resident, there are now five total cases of COVID-19 associated with the Kenai Peninsula. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the total state count had risen to 59. That’s an increase of 17, the largest increase of cases in one day so far.

There are now 11 cases in Ketchikan, two in Juneau, two in Palmer, eight in Fairbanks, three in North Pole, three in Eagle River/Chugiak, one in Seward, one in Soldotna, two in Sterling and 25 in Anchorage, including Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.

If a person knows they have been in close contact with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 infection, they are urged to call the Homer Public Health Center at (907) 235-8857 or EPI at (907) 269-8000.

Another resource is the City of Homer COVID-19 call line at 907-435-3197.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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