Ketchikan emergency planners and partner agencies held a media roundtable Tuesday to answer questions and give updates on the community’s response to the coronavirus threat.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alaska. In Ketchikan two people have been tested, both tests came back negative.

Fire chief and emergency manager Abner Hoage says he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but believes coronavirus will eventually make its way to Ketchikan. 

“What I’m most worried about is that person who’s traveled out of state, maybe for medical care, maybe to see friends and family. They’re not showing any signs or symptoms. They get on that airplane and they fly back here to Ketchikan. And then they’re in the community and then they realize they’re sick.”

Recommendations for avoiding or preventing the spread of coronavirus are the same as those for a cold of flu – frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, covering your cough, and staying home if you’re sick.

Hoage emphasized if people suspect they have coronavirus they should not go directly to the hospital but call their healthcare provider for instructions.

Representatives from the city and borough, the medical field, the school district and the cruise industry participated in the event.

KRBD will have more details from the meeting, including possible impacts to the summer cruise season, how the school district is responding, and how medical providers are preparing, Wednesday on the KRBD Evening Report.