SITKA, April 30, 2020 – On April 25, the Sitka Unified Command was notified of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in Sitka. On April 29, the Sitka Unified Command was informed additional testing for the confirmed positive COVID-19 patient had been performed and additional test results were negative.
Sitka’s Public Health Nurse reports the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Epidemiology Section is continuing to evaluate this case and reminds the public that this remains a positive case for Sitka.
In response to the April 25 transport of the patient, Fire Chief Dave Miller would like to commend the Sitka Fire Department and Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center (MEMC) personnel for their preparedness. “Both the Sitka Fire Department and MEMC personnel are highly prepared for a call of this nature and worked together to ensure a safe transport for the patient and staff.”
The Sitka Unified Command urges citizens to continue to adhere to all local and state mandates regarding travel and staying at home as much as possible. Sitka’s local hunker down resolution is in effect through May 12. Emergency Ordinance 2020-14 requiring all people arriving in Sitka, whether by vessel or aircraft, to self-quarantine for 14 days is in effect until the State of Alaska rescinds Health Mandate 10. To read more about local legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://cityofsitka.org/covid-19-cbs-legislation/.
The Sitka Unified Command asks citizens to continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, practice physical distancing of 6 feet, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis. On the limited occasions when leaving home, the Sitka Unified Command reminds citizens to wear a face covering.
For health questions or COVID concerns, please call the SEARHC 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.
The Sitka Unified Command encourages citizens to 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
Additional information on COVID-19 is available through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) at https://covid19.alaska.gov/, SEARHC at www.covid19.searhc.org, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
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.