Skagway reports 4 new COVID-19 cases

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Skagway, Alaska is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, according to two news releases on Friday.

These cases bring Skagway's total count to nine. The community of just over 1,000 people reported its first case of COVID-19 on Oct. 15.

Two of the new cases reported on Friday are associated with community spread, says one news release from the municipality.

"The State Department of Public Health is working with clinic providers on contact tracing to identify people who have had close contact with the individuals," says the release. People who may have been exposed must quarantine for 14 days.

Two other cases reported on Friday had no known community contact, according to another media release.

"Based on an investigation by the DMC (Dahl Memorial Clinic) medical director and state public health nurse there is a high level of certainty that no community transmission occurred as a result of these two cases," reads that release.

The new cases are prompting the municipality to extend its shelter in place order seven days until 8 a.m. on Oct. 31.

According to a post on the municipality's website, the shelter in place order "requires residents to stay indoors except for certain essential activities, which include buying food and seeking medical treatment.

"This directive does not bar people from leaving their homes and does encourage residents to get outside and to take walks — provided they stay at least six feet away from anyone not in their household. People should not congregate in groups."

Skagway is about 150 kilometres south of Whitehorse. The only road connecting Skagway to the rest of the state runs through Yukon.