Mat-Su Borough School District

Mat-Su Borough School District

The Mat-Su Borough set another COVID-19 single-day high Monday, with an additional 80 new cases reported.

The borough continues its stay at the state’s high alert level, with 384 cases reported in the last 14 days. More than a third of the borough’s cumulative total of 1,144 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the past two weeks. Monday is the third straight day in which the borough has set a single-day high. There were 34 cases reported on Saturday and 75 on Sunday.

After a record-breaking weekend, the state reported 348 new cases in Alaska Monday. There were 526 new cases reported on Sunday.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has reported at least 100 new coronavirus cases per day for more than a month, at least 200 for 11 straight days and more than 300 for three consecutive days.

“We’re doing all we can, with the full support of our governor, to respond vigorously to this increase in cases,” DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum said in a press release. “While DHSS provides support to Alaska’s communities, we’re also asking all Alaskans to step up their COVID prevention efforts to help flatten the curve again. While the vast majority of today’s cases are younger than age 60, the saturation of the virus in the community increases the likelihood that our vulnerable populations such as older Alaskans or others at risk of severe illness will be infected, and these are the groups we are especially trying to protect. This won’t last forever, but right now we are asking all Alaskans to come together and slow this community spread and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

Of the Mat-Su’s total of 1,144, 714 are in Wasilla, 336 are in Palmer, 29 are in Willow, 26 are in Big Lake, 16 are in Houston, seven are in Sutton, two are in Meadow Lakes and one in Knik. Thirteen cases are listed as other in the borough.

Eleven different schools in the Mat-Su Borough School District are closed to in-class learning for at least a portion of the week. Big Lake Elementary, Palmer Junior Middle School, Shaw Elementary and Wasilla Middle were closed Monday and Tuesday. Colony High, Colony Middle, Mat-Su Career and Technical High, Mat-Su Central and Wasilla High are closed through Friday. The district also announced Monday that Goose Bay Elementary is closed on Tuesday and Machetanz Elementary will be closed through Wednesday.

As of Monday night, 24 schools were listed as medium risk, which the district describes as low to moderate level of community transmission. The district defines community as a single school.

In an update Monday night, the district reported multiple positive cases at Birchtree Charter, Burchell High, Fronteras Charter, Houston Jr./Sr. High, Redington Jr./Sr. High, Sherrod Elementary, Swanson Elementary and Tanaina Elementary. Those schools were open as of Tuesday.

A handful of local restaurants have self-reported COVID-19 exposure, and closed temporarily. The Wasilla Sonic Drive-In posted a statement on social media Friday morning announcing that the restaurant will be temporarily closed due to a positive COVID-19 case. Chepos and The Grape Tap and Wasilla also posted about temporary closures due to COVID-19 exposure on social media. The Grape Tap will reopen Oct. 28 according to its Facebook page.

The Mat-Su Borough building, an early voting site, was also closed Friday. Borough officials said a person who had voted there on Thursday had tested positive. The building was open on Monday.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at editor@frontiersman.com.

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