State health officials say a Metlakatla woman in her 70s has died after contracting COVID-19. The state health department announced the death Thursday.
While the woman was a resident of the state’s sole Native reserve, Mayor Reggie Atkinson says she did not contract the virus in Metlakatla.
“The person who had passed away from COVID-19 actually was on a different medical trip and she contracted the virus away from the island and … she passed away in the hospital away from the island,” Atkinson told KRBD Friday.
Atkinson did not release the woman’s name. Officials generally don’t identify people with COVID-19 for privacy reasons.
Atkinson says the Annette Islands Reserve has still yet to see an active case of COVID-19 within its boundaries. But a resident identified as a close contact of a positive case in Ketchikan remained in quarantine Friday pending a second negative test for the virus, the mayor said.
Travelers from high-risk areas are required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Metlakatla under the reserve’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
Additional reporting from KRBD’s Maria Dudzak