Rescinded: Emergency Ordinance Requiring All People Arriving In Sitka To Self-Quarantine For 14 Days

The City and Borough of Sitka Assembly approved emergency ordinance 2020-14 April 14.  Effective immediately, all people arriving in Sitka, whether resident, worker or visitor, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for illness. Arriving residents or workers may only work from their place of self-quarantine, not their place of employment, unless they provide or support critical healthcare operations or infrastructure.  Residents or workers in critical healthcare operations or infrastructure are required to receive approval by the Municipal Administrator.

“Self-quarantine” is defined in State of Alaska Health Mandate 10 (https://gov.alaska.gov/home/covid19-healthmandates/) except it is expanded by emergency ordinance 2020-14.  If you are a worker or visitor (not a resident), you are prohibited from having any other individual in your hotel room, rented lodging, workplace provided room, or other designated self-quarantine location.

Essential services and critical workforce infrastructure required under Attachment A (https://gov.alaska.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/041320202-COVID-19-Health-Mandate-010-Attachment-A.pdf) of Health Mandate 10 to submit a plan or protocol to the State of Alaska, are also required to submit a plan or protocol to the City and Borough of Sitka by 3:00 p.m. April 24, 2020 at COVID-19.Action_Plans@cityofsitka.org.The plan needs to outline how the business will avoid the spread of COVID-19 in Sitka, not endanger lives in Sitka, and not strain or overwhelm local medical services.  The plan must be submitted to and approved by the Municipal Administrator.  The Municipal Administrator shall respond to a business’s plan within three business days, unless extended by the Municipal Administrator by good cause, and, if the plan is rejected, work with the business in good faith to come up with an acceptable plan.  If you have already submitted a plan to the State of Alaska you are required to submit another plan to the City and Borough of Sitka.

Beyond the requirements for the plan required by the State of Alaska, the plan to the City and Borough of Sitka must specifically include/address the following elements with respect to workers and operations in Sitka:

(1)        the arrival of workers in small cohorts of 50 individuals or less per week;

(2)        the screening and testing (as feasible) of workers upon arrival;

(3)        the movement of workers into self-quarantine immediately upon arrival and testing;

(4)        the prohibition of workers sharing rooms/facilities while in self-quarantine;

(5)        the daily onsite presence and continual availability (24 hours per day) of a certified healthcare provider (not an EMT, a certified nurse or more highly qualified healthcare provider);

(6) the protocol for triage by the onsite healthcare provider;

(7) the isolation and triage of all positive test cases, with the assistance of SEARHC;

(8) the re-testing (as feasible) of all workers after seven days in self-quarantine, with release from self-quarantine only after confirming a negative re-testing result and completion of the 14 day self-quarantine and, upon release, daily screening (in accordance with CDC and Alaska DHSS protocol) with questionnaire and temperature check;

(9) the designation/hiring of and fulltime (24 hours per day) onsite presence of a quarantine officer responsible to oversee and direct compliance with the plan;

(10) the prohibition of workers moving within the community outside the close vicinity of their workplace; and

(11) any other reasonable concerns raised by the Municipal Administrator. 

The decision whether a worker is “able to work” and be released from self-quarantine shall be made by the Municipal Administrator in collaboration with local medical staff.

The failure to follow this emergency ordinance poses a substantial risk to the life, health and welfare of the persons in Sitka and, accordingly, the City and Borough of Sitka shall be able to and may seek an expedited court order requiring a person, whether an individual or entity, not complying with this emergency ordinance to comply with and enjoin any activity that violates this emergency ordinance.  Further, failure to follow this emergency ordinance is punishable by the maximum fines and penalties permitted by law or under the State of Alaska Health Mandates.

Those with questions may contact the CBS Public Information Officer at pio@cityofsitka.org or 747-1899.

The ordinance is available to download here:

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