COVID-19 Brief: Thursday, June 11, 2020: Quarantining the Tusty, testing & community relief

Jun 11, 2020

Credit CDC

Jenny Carroll, Information Officer for the City of Homer, Nurse Lorne Carroll from the Homer Public Health Clinic and Derotha Ferraro of South Peninsula Hospital discuss the latest from the Homer Unified Command and answer listener questions. Also, Aaron Weisser, Pastor of Church on the Rock, Homer has an update on community aid and relief efforts.

For updated, local, state and national information about COVID-19, go to:cityofhomer-ak.gov/covid19
 

Transcript: 

Kathleen Gustafson, KBBI:
Good morning. This is KBBI, Homer, AM 890. The time is 9:03 AM and you are tuned to the Thursday COVID-19 brief with the Homer incident command team. Let's check in with the team Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital. Are you there? 

Derotha Ferraro, Spokesperson, South Peninsula Hospital:
I am here. Good morning. 

KBBI: Terrific. And Nurse Lorne Carroll from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Public Health Center here in Homer. 

Nurse Lorne Carroll, Alaska DHSS, Homer Public Health Center:
Good morning, team. You're loud and clear, Kathleen. 

KBBI: Good morning. And Jenny Carroll, Communications Officer for the City of Homer. 

Jenny Carroll, Communications Officer, City of Homer:
Good morning, everyone. I'm here. 

KBBI: Good morning. Also later at 9:30, Aaron Weisser Pastor of Church on the Rock will come on to update everybody about relief and aid efforts. So Jenny Carroll, for the city of Homer, the first question that I received was asking for an update on wastewater testing, Ken Landfield wants to know. 

Jenny: Sure I can address that. And it's a good time for that question because,  the city of Homer just recently received a first report that confirms the presence of COVID-19 in our wastewater stream.  We just got the report on the 9th, but that report was from a sample that we took actually on May 26. So the reporting was on the 9th, but the sample was taken on the 26th . 

KBBI: So as of the 26th of May COVID is present in our wastewater. 

Jenny: Yep. And just to catch people up who may not know, who are just learning about what the city's doing is we volunteer to be part of a study by a group called Biobot Analytics in Massachusetts, they're working through MIT to do a study of looking at the COVID-19 genetic material that shows up in wastewater before it's treated as a way of measuring COVID-19 in a community. So we're one of about 160 public works departments in the United States who are participating in the study. This is a measure that has been developed earlier to detect certain things in populations, from a public health perspective. 

KBBI: And if anybody wants a short tutorial on that process and how it's working and the people in the city and how they're communicating with Biobot Analytics, you can go to https://www.kbbi.org/#stream/0  because we have a really good explainer. In the search window, search wastewater or wastewater treatment, or even City of Homer and it will come up, if you want to get a more detailed explanation of how they're taking the samples, where they're going, what happens to the samples and that sort of thing. 

Jenny: Yeah. So, the Biobot Analytics does an estimate of the amount of number of COVID-19 infected individuals who used the wastewater system and at that reading that we got on May 26th, they estimated there could be 40 infected individual carriers of COVID-19 that have used the wastewater system. As you know, today's numbers, we're about at that level in the area, but not specifically in the City of Homer but what it does show is it reflects pretty much the uptick of positive cases that we're seeing reported in our area, so it is correlating, it is a study just trying to figure out how to see it in the wastewater and then extrapolate that to our population numbers. So it is a study, it's rough estimate of the number of people in the community, but it is confirming the presence of COVID-19 in our community. And I also, one last thing, I know I'm going on a little, I just want to assure people that it is not been shown that COVID-19 genetic material in water, wastewater, is a spreader of COVID-19. So I just want to assure people that even though it's showing up in the wastewater,  it's not a potential spreader of COVID-19. 

KBBI: Right. I think that I talked to the Biobot Analytics people a few weeks ago about that very thing, that it can be detected in water, but there is no evidence that it's spread by water.  

Jenny: Right. Exactly. So anyway, that's our news from the wastewater study that we're doing and it is just reflecting the uptick in positive cases 

KBBI: If you have any, if any listeners have any questions you can call to speak to Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital, Nurse Lorne Carroll from the Department of Public Health, Jenny Carroll from the City of Homer. If you have any questions for them, you can call 235-7721 or you can email your questions to info@kbbi.org and I will, I'm going to get to you Derotha next, but right now, Nurse Lorne, I want to ask you about your work on the Tustumena over the last few days you led the Department of Public Safety board, or the Public Nurses boarding of the Tusty. Can you talk about the work the team did to secure patients aboard they transferred off the ship. Can you talk about that day and then about what work is ahead of you with regard to the people on the Tusty? Nurse Lorne: Oh yeah, sure thing Kathleen, thanks for the question and it's actually quite a long and complicated story. I was just sitting here trying to think about how to respond in just under a couple of minutes, but here's the broad, brief overview of, kind of what happened. And then also I'll try to highlight, the public health nurses’ role in the ongoing response to the Tustumena. The Tustumena Ferry arrived back in Homer on Monday, June 8th and that Saturday the first positive known COVID case was discovered on board the vessel and when it pulled into Homer on Monday, the 8th, there were 41 folks on board, 35 of those were crew and 6 were passengers so we kind of knew at that point the next step would be to team up with our partners, like South Peninsula Hospital section of epidemiology, and of course DOT, to conduct testing on all those folks. So that went really well. We were able to test all the folks on board, all, so we ran 40 tests, of special thanks to South Peninsula Hospital, but also DOT. In terms of vessels like that, it's the captains’ and, and DOT’s ultimate responsibility of the safety of not only the vessel in the space around it, but all souls on board,  so working really closely with those folks was a big key. South Peninsula Hospital ran those tests through the night and the results were, 6 additional positives were identified and those were amongst all the crew. So in grand total, 7 positive COVID tests came off of the folks on the Tustumena and that the public health nurses, we had to actually get assistance from public health nurses across the State and so that was from Fairbanks clear to Juneau,  to help us out with a couple of key components. One was to complete index case interviews on all positives as quickly as possible and then to make a grand list of significant contacts that may have been in close proximity to those folks that are positive. And what I mean by close proximity is generally within 6 feet of a person who's known to have had COVID and for 10 minutes or longer. But I want to highlight that one thing that's unique about this case and that makes it different is that a small vessel like that, relatively small, is a very good place for COVID to transmit to other folks on board. So, one thing that we did, the chief epidemiologist of the State,  Dr. Joe McLaughlin and team, including folks from epi and section of public health nursing made the ultimate recommendation that everyone on board who's not in isolation should also be in quarantine. So along with that testing came education and information on how to quarantine and how to keep each other safe. 

KBBI: Thank you, Nurse, Lorne, I just got a question.  I do have some questions that are coming in to info@kbbi.org right now. One of them is asking if there's any information you can give about the letter that went out to people at the Friendship Terrace about a positive case at the Friendship Terrace at the Senior Center. 

Nurse Lorne: I can respond in general.  I don't have any specific information that could be shared with the general public, but can highlight that public health nurses here on the Peninsula take information that we gather from section of epidemiology and our healthcare partners and we complete an index case interview on a hundred percent of new cases and then we list out all of those significant contacts or people that have been in close proximity to cases. And then we list them out and make daily contact with them as they travel through 14 days of quarantine. And the goal there is to help reduce the chances of transmitting COVID to other people in our community. 

KBBI: And Nurse Lorne, I have one more question for you and then a raft of questions about local testing for Derotha from South Peninsula Hospital. This one came in to info@kbbi.org. The question is, on the COVID map, the State COVID map, it shows 21 cases in “Other, South Peninsula”. Can you explain what that means and what can be done to address those cases? 

Nurse Lorne: Oh, yeah, that's a really good question. Historically, what we've been doing as a member of DHSS, Department of Health and Social Services,  and across the nation, actually, the processes for us to report on COVID cases, in terms of residents, permanent residents, and then in the recent past, and the cutoff there is that we report specifically for census designated places that have at least 1000 people or more, so like Homer and Anchor Point you'll see on the dashboard, have several cases but there are several census designated places that have less than 1000, in terms of estimated population, and those are grouped into categories so that we can report on cases with the most specificity possible. So that all of the CDPs, or Census Designated Places on the Kenai Peninsula are cut into two major categories: one would be Kenai Peninsula Borough Other North and Kenai Peninsula Borough Other South. And the South category are those folks that are from Ninilchik south and across the Bay, within those CDPs that have 1000 or less in population in content to that single category. And in terms of what can we do regarding the, I think there's actually 22 cases in Kenai Peninsula Borough South, a couple of things that we can do is talking about and encouraging each other to continue community mitigation measures. So what I mean by that is just thinking about how and when COVID is able to transmit and, as a community team, attempt to prevent that. So that would mean in general, keeping a good distance away from folks, especially, not for more than 10 minutes,  wearing a mask when you're around others.  

KBBI: Okay. Thanks Nurse Lorne, and Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital. I have a lot of testing questions for you. Let's start with this one. First of all, can you give me the numbers as of today? 

Derotha: Well, thank you for that question, Kathleen and I can not. And the reason is because our testing numbers have grown so much in one day that by 9:00 AM on a given day, I do not have yesterday's results. I might be able to give you the total number of tests, but I don't know the update, so I can give you last night’s, which last night’s were reflective of earlier in the day yesterday. So as of late end of business day yesterday, 2,466 total tests done by South Peninsula Hospital. Of those 2,242 were negative, 48 were positive and 178 are pending. 

KBBI: So Derotha, I need to ask you, I need to interrupt you and ask you if you can help place that number in context because I have a question here that is what was the capacity for testing at South Peninsula Hospital six weeks ago? What is it now? And what is the plan for six weeks from now? Can you give some understanding of the number of tests and how it's grown? 

Derotha: You bet. So, in context, in the Borough, there have been 4,000 tests, total tests. And of those 4,000 total tests, 2,466 were done by South Peninsula Hospital. So a good chunk of Borough wide testing has happened at the hospital or a hospital managed, what we call pop-up site 

KBBI: Also at Seldovia Village Tribe Health Center, right?  

Derotha: Our numbers of 2,466 do not represent those. So when you add that into the pot, now we're getting closer to 3000 of those 4,000 tests were done on the Southern Peninsula. And I will tell you also that because it's hard in a conversation to understand, you know, to see it all. So I will say that the Borough has really done a great job of updating their COVID-19 webpage https://kenai-peninsula-borough-covid-19-hub-kpb.hub.arcgis.com/  And they have case counts on there as well as testing numbers and it's just a real good visual, it has a map, and you can just kind of click on the map of the Borough, different areas and it's really great spot. So I encourage people to go to that. And the hospital, we keep testing numbers on our website but as of today, we're also going to, now that the State breaks out the Southern Peninsula Hospital service area numbers,  which just started, thank you, State of Alaska at the DHSS, whoever made all those decisions. Thank you, everybody who wrote letters and made phone calls,  so that now our service area can really get, I don't want to say handle, but get an understanding of COVID-19 in our inner circle spreading. 

KBBI: Through widespread testing that is underwritten or helped by the State. So I have one more question on this list or a couple more, can I, Oh, go ahead. Go ahead. 

Derotha: I just want, I just want to talk about the capacity. So when we started this back in March, we had days of zero tests that we did and a busy day might've been 5 and now we're up to as many as 150 a day. So we've really increased that and along with the numbers, we increased capacity because when we first started this, all we did was swab and send to the State and now we have actually 3 in house, in the building of South Peninsula Hospital, we have 3 different platforms, which we can run a COVID test on. Additionally, we can send swabs to the State. So we have four different options and each one has a, kind of a different set of priorities. For example, the State sent us a platform called a Cepheids and it does very reliable, pretty much immediate, turnaround results within an hour but it was specifically given to us for critical infrastructure and fisheries. And that was the platform we use the night, the ferry dock, the ferry arrived here. 8 o'clock,  the swabbers went on board, within an hour they had all the swabs and by 7 AM, the next morning, every one of those swabs was completed. So that was the purpose of that platform. And that's what, that's how it was used. 

KBBI: And can the hospital lab, the information I have from the person I’m getting the question from, Mr. Evans, is can the hospital process only 100 tests today or has that increased?

Derotha: Different platforms. Haven't really done the math, adding those all up of what our internal capacity is. For example, the Cepheid machine runs 4 at a time and takes about an hour or so. And it depends on, you know, if you're doing around the clock 24/7 staffing, each machine has a different capacity on it and then we can also drive them to the State. So not an easy answer there. 

KBBI: Okay. And this one I want to give to Lorne and Derotha Ferraro because I think both of you might have something to say about this one. If the Governor's plan for visitors arriving requires a second test after arrival in Alaska, can the State and the people in Homer expect open, available testing for visitors and locals? Do we have the capacity? Do we have the equipment? Do we have the tests to safely open up our economy and invite tourists to come here? 

Derotha: I can say that at the moment, we do, part of the hurdle was the turnaround time of the test, because people want the answers immediately and so that's very challenging for the individual during the wait of the test result. But at the time we do, because incoming visitors into this State right now, those numbers are fairly low. So based on those numbers…..

KBBI: Those numbers are going to rise in terms of people coming into the State. Derotha: I do not know that, you know, you can look at other normal years, yes they certainly do but for this year, I do not know that they will. 

KBBI: Okay. And Nurse Lorne? 

Nurse Lorne: Yeah, I feel like that's a real good question and one of the potential challenges that we and all of our partners might be looking at is prioritization of testing.  So, you know, like the Tustumena is a very good example of the need for collecting swabs and then also getting results as quickly as possible so that we can make decisions based upon more information. You know, the example here is that there was a need to run 40 tests as quickly as possible and the hospital filled in for that critical service. So those folks worked from 8:00 PM throughout the night to get those results as quickly as possible. So what I'm trying to say here is that there's a need that exceeds the capacity in terms of time and then if another event like the Tustumena occurs, then those tests that need results for tourism may have to be pushed back at some point in relation to available resources. 

KBBI: Okay, thanks. Thank you, Nurse Lorne. Dave is on line one. Dave, you have a question?

Dave: Hi, good morning. I think this question's for Lorne. And I'm wondering if the cases that have been reported if they're grouped by category or occupation or any other data? I'm interested, especially knowing how our essential workers are, every time I come into a grocery store or a pick up food, et cetera, I realize how vulnerable those folks are and I wonder how they're doing, especially. 

Nurse Lorne: Yeah, that's a good question. Thank you. In terms of what kinds of demographics or what is it that we're seeing in any patterns and COVID cases, I would say at this point, we're seeing COVID cases that are associated with almost every risk factor and especially as the pandemic continues to unfold. So I think that that really highlights that as COVID continues to unfold, as we work together as a community, if we can work to mitigate these risk factors, that will help us get through this as quickly as possible. And another key here is that Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, also highlights some statewide reporting and details during her evening press releases. So that would be a good resource too.

KBBI: Okay, Dave, does that answer your question? or address it? 

Dave: Yeah, sort of. I'll look toward Dr. Zink’s press releases. Thank you. 

KBBI: Thank you, Dave. 

Jenny: Kathleen? This is Jenny. Can you hear me? 

KBBI: Go ahead, Jenny. 

Jenny: Yeah, I just wanted to follow up a little bit on the testing from a little different perspective. I get a lot of calls on the City of Homer COVID info line these days about how to get tests, where to go, you know, can I get a test if I just have this? And how much, is there enough testing for everybody? And I just, I want to encourage people to keep calling if you have questions, the City of Homer COVID call line at 435-3197. I'm happy to take the calls and I'm happy to forward them on to people who may know the answers better than me. But one of the things that I do appreciate is that both Lorne and Derotha talking about how you kind of triage who gets what kind of tests, because the testing capabilities are varied and they have various turnaround times and various labs work on them. And I just want to assure people in the community that they’re using those tools to their best use for the best situation. And the other thing I want to say about testing is that I want to remind people that that is a point in time. So these fast turnaround tests like Lorne was saying were very effective for being able to understand the situation on the Tustumena and quickly get on top of contacting people. The same would go for congregate living facility. But that's a point in time and it has a tool, it has a use. The other thing we should keep in mind is that it doesn't substitute for the 14 day quarantine. So if you are asked to quarantine or if you don't get your test when you come back to Homer from travel outside, you always can do that 14 day quarantine, monitor your systems and at the end of that period, you know that you are in the clear. The test just shows you what's happening right now and it's a very effective tool, but really, so is the 14 day quarantine and so I want to encourage people to not forget about that mitigation measure. 

KBBI: Thank you, Jenny Carroll from this... Oh, go ahead…

Derotha: I just want to follow up on that too, that even with a negative test result as a visitor, that is as kind of like the entry into the State, but you're still expected, and that's very clear in the Mandate and on the State travel website and on the COVID site and everything, that you still are asked to avoid large group settings, keep physical distancing, wear a face covering, so it's not a, you know, a free for all ticket, it's just the ticket in, and then you're still being asked to follow all of the mitigation strategies that we as a State have been adopting.

KBBI: Also, I have two more comments in my email queue that I want to, I think I can address and then I'll ask anyone who would like to weigh in and then the COVID brief will be almost complete. I have someone emailing me saying that they were on the Tustumena Ferry on June 2nd and that only 2 of the crew members were even wearing masks and so just encouraging the letters, encouraging people to remember that there are things that we can do to help stop the spread. Also, I have a question in my email about a gathering in a public park in Homer this weekend that is encouraging people to come without masks and not to practice social distancing. And so one thing I would like to do before I ask for any comments from that is go straight to Dr. Anne Zink who has released 3 reasons why I wear a mask from Dr. Anne Zink: One is humility, I don't know if I have COVID and it's clear that people could spread the disease before they have symptoms. Number two is kindness, I don't know if the person I'm near has a kid battling cancer or cares for their elderly mom, while I might be fine, they might not. And three is community, I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy, keeping a lid on COVID helps us all. And those are the words from Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska. Now I want to call for last call Nurse Lorne, do you have anything else on your list or do you want to respond to any of that? 

Nurse Lorne: Just want to give another big thank you to not only the folks on this team, but the folks that have been there and available to work alongside public health nurses and epidemiologists during the past several months and just kind of looking forward to continuing to team up with us folks looking forward and then also all the community members. So thank you.

KBBI: Nurse Lorne, I know that a great many, I think over 60 medical professionals in the State, issued a letter asking the State to require masks in public places. I have a question here from Fred saying, is there anything being done to require the use of masks by store employees? by State employees like the Tustumena Ferry employees? 

Nurse Lorne: I'll take one part of that and then maybe other folks on the panel here have some inputs too. You know, the one thing that I found particularly impressive about the Tustumena is the plans that DOT already had, and that were in place. I mean, COVID is pretty infectious and it just offers obvious complications in terms of transmission as evidenced by global pandemic. But I just really appreciate DOT and other partnering organizations’ plans that they have in place in order to mitigate COVID transmission. 

KBBI: Thank you, Nurse Lorne, Carroll, and Derotha Ferrara from South Peninsula Hospital, any final comments from you? 

Derotha: I want to give a shout out to teamwork because I'll tell you the hospital staff have really been exhibiting a lot of teamwork. We've got folks from, you know, one department moving into a different department to fill in while that person's out on the Spit swabbing, it's just really awesome how, the teamwork that's going on at the hospital to fill all the need for working as a community to respond. Also to the local clinics who are partnering with the hospital to do all of this pop-up testing, Ninilchik Tribal Health Clinic, SVT Health and Wellness. We really appreciate working with them to get the testing out in the community. Tomorrow, Friday, there will be pop-up testing at the Cheeky Moose in Anchor Point. Thank you Ninilchik Health Clinic for managing that. That's in Anchor Point, 9 to 5, and then the Spit testing ends on Saturday at 5. So today, Friday and Saturday are the last 3 days of the Spit site for testing. So just a thank you to all the partners and the teamwork going on within this building and within the community. 

KBBI: Thank you Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital, Jenny Carroll Communications Officer for the City of Homer. Any final comments from you?

Jenny: Sure. I'll be the caboose that kind of links up these messages here. I just want to echo what Derotha and Lorne said, the EOC teamwork, working with the State in response to the Tustumena docking here to make sure that we are able to support the Alaska Marine Ferry System’s mitigation plans.  It was very heartening to know that we have such strength in the community to be supportive and have support from the State to get media briefing going, in a very short turnaround time have testing done here to large outreach from the hospital, the public health nurses having the capacity to step up and follow increasing numbers and complexities of cases. So I just want to say it's very awe inspiring to be seeing that all come together to this emergency and also our community members who are stepping up to practice their mitigation measures, in their kindness to one another, in our care for the community, our elders who are vulnerable. Thank you, it's a great thing to see. 

KBBI: Thank you, Jenny Carroll, from the City of Homer. Aaron Weisser, Pastor of Church on the Rock, Homer, are you on the line? 

Aaron: I think so. 

KBBI: Yay. It's so nice to hear you. Thank you so much for coming on because you have an update on the I Love Homer Relief Fund and on relief efforts going on around town. 

Aaron: That's right. Yeah. I'll give you, just a quick rundown and then if I, if there's any gaps that you want clarification on, feel free to just point those out.  You and I talked, man, it's been a little while now, it's been probably close to two months ago. Yes. When we last gave the update, Church on the Rock, Homer, right at the beginning of all of this, of the COVID crisis, our board made the decision to set aside $25,000 for the establishment of a local relief fund. And,  since then, that fund has grown through additional donations, in fact I just checked this morning, to just over $71,000 and that's through both people from Church on the Rock and then also donations from the community. The two primary ways that we've distributed, so at this point we've distributed about two thirds of that fund, so we've distributed just about $50,000 worth of that fund.  We've done it two ways. We have distributed funds to nonprofits in the community that are providing relief. So for example, the food pantry. We've provided funds to Love, Inc., which does a lot of like, rent and utility assistance.  We provided funds to the Senior Center, Haven House, and I think there's like seven or eight different organizations. But then the second thing was is that we,  initially through our discussion, decided to put together a, what we call a relief packet,  that is $250 of gift cards for local retailers, grocery, so like, Save U More, Safeway, Ulmers, Scott’s, and when we went to the locally owned retailers, they actually added to our investment and gave us above and beyond in value what we purchased from them in gift cards. And those relief packets are specifically for people who are falling between qualifying for unemployment and yet they're not fully employed as they were previously and so they've had a reduction in income which has created some difficulty for them, but they're not fully unemployed and on unemployment benefits. And I have to say, Kathleen, in large part, because of you having us on a little while back, we have, as of this morning, I think we're at 80 packets distributed and we have another, I think probably half dozen or so that are being finalized today to go out. So we have, I think somewhere between, because our value is increased when we purchase gift cards from the locally owned retailers, I think we ended up with like 110 packets. So we have about somewhere in the ballpark of about 25 of those $250 packets left. And I want to just reiterate again, that if there's families who fall in that category, it's a very simple process.  An individual or a family can apply online at https://www.ilovehomer.org/ and all we do is we check in with some some reference. In most cases, it's been an employer to confirm that the individual falls kind of in between those two groups of not fully employed, but not receiving unemployment. So those are continuing to go out and there are still some available. The other thing is that we're going to be here in the next couple of weeks, we're going to be looking to distribute the remaining fund to those same nonprofits that we have already given funds to and we would be open to additional requests. We had, when the initial news came out of the I Love Homer Fund, I know, for example, like the Senior Center reached out and said, Hey, we could really use some help in this particular area and so we were able to include them on that list. So we're still, the packets are still going out and we are looking for additional opportunities as new needs have arisen to continue to serve through funding those that are serving on the front lines. 

KBBI: Well, thank you so much. I wonder those packets, the things that are still available, first of all, thank you for calling out KBBI, we are so happy to be able to help in any way and help get the word out. Those packets that are still available, the aid that is still available, can it all be accessed through https://www.ilovehomer.org/  ?

Aaron: That's right. So the partner agencies that we gave funds to are all listed there and what types of relief that they offer, it's all listed there on the website. If there is a local relief agency of some kind or nonprofit that is providing relief and in need of funding, I would encourage them, if they're listening to this and they say, Hey, we could really use a boost, as we look at the distribution of the remainder of this fund, I would actually really encourage them to reach out to Church on the Rock directly.  So the website is basically for those seeking relief, right? So it itemizes all the different ways to get relief through this fund and how to apply. But for agencies, I would encourage them to reach out to us directly and say, Hey, we have a need here and we talked about this the last time I was on. There's a number of real critical agencies in our community that have had to significantly curtail fundraising and we want to be able to, in some small way,  stand in the gap, as we're able to, with the funds that we have for that purpose.

KBBI: And what it, since you were mentioning Church on the Rock, what is the status of services for Church on the Rock? I know that your home was in the high school gym and the high school is still closed. So what's going on with you? 

Aaron: That is the question of the hour, Kathleen. And we are still trying to, we have an administrative headquarters just out East End, just sort of on the East side of town, that we moved into last year which really can only accommodate a smaller group of people. It's not set up for what we do at the high school so we're looking at some options. We are already, as far as reconvening for those purposes, we're going to be behind everyone else, just because of the way that we do services, but we're looking at some options where we can get people together safely in a way that upholds the State guidelines. So we're still actually in the middle of trying to resolve some of those questions for us for the next couple of months. 

KBBI: Well, thank you so much for checking in today and we'll be in touch and if ever there's anything, any information that you would like to get out,  just give a call and we'll get you to air. 

Aaron: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Kathleen. 

KBBI: Thank you. Aaron Weisser, Pastor of Church on the Rock, Homer. This has been the COVID-19 Thursday brief. I'm Kathleen Gustafson.