April 25 – Sitka Unified Command has received information from Public Health Officials that there has been a positive test result for COVID-19 in Sitka.
The confirmed patient is a resident at SEARHC Sitka Long-Term Care (SLTC). Upon notification from the Public Health Officials, the patient was immediately isolated and transferred to Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center, and plans were implemented to ensure the safety of the other residents at SLTC. An investigation is currently underway to identify the source of the virus. Public Health Officials will notify and isolate additional persons as appropriate.
Sitka Unified Command urges citizens to adhere to all local, state, and federal mandates regarding travel, staying at home as much as possible and on the limited occasions when leaving home to practice physical distancing of 6 feet from others. Continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis, and wear a face covering, in particular in public settings.
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu – fever, aching, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your coronavirus concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure. For health questions or COVID concerns, please call the COVID hotline at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.
If you are not sick, please continue to take precautionary measures to stay healthy:
- Get your flu shot. The flu shot will not prevent COVID-19 but will help prevent you from getting sick and reduce the workload on the healthcare system.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after your blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g. tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water
- Wear a face covering, in particular in public settings. For more information on cloth face coverings visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/coveryourface.aspx
Residents are encouraged to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.
# # #