Rescinded: Emergency Ordinance 2020-14: Mandatory 14-day Self-Quarantine for all People Arriving in Sitka

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and
pursuant to the emergency ordinance of the Assembly Emergency Ordinance No. 2020-14:

All PEOPLE arriving in Sitka, whether by vessel or aircraft, are REQUIRED to: SELF-QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS and monitor for illness.

You:

  • MUST stay at home or place of self-quarantine for 14-days upon arrival
  • MUST, if a seasonal worker or visitor, not work at your workplace until you complete the 14-day self-quarantine and are approved to work by the Municipal Administrator or designee Contact PIO Sara Peterson at pio@cityofsitka.org or 747-1899
  • MUST, if a seasonal worker or visitor, follow State health mandate rules for social distancing https://covid19.alaska.gov/health-mandates/ while in 14-day self-quarantine and, in addition, not permit any other individuals in your place of self-quarantine
  • MUST, if a resident, only work at your home, not your workplace, during the 14-day self-quarantine
  • [EXCEPTION], may work upon arrival if a critical healthcare worker, if requested to and approved by the Municipal Administrator (see contact info above)

All BUSINESSES, which are required to submit a COVID-19 protection plan to the State pursuant to https://covid19.alaska.gov/health-mandates/, are now also required to SUBMIT A PROTECTION PLAN TO THE CITY. The plan must be submitted to the Municipal Administrator by April 24, 2020 at
COVID-19.Action_Plans@cityofsitka.org (unless extended for good cause).

Note, certain elements, which are itemized in the emergency ordinance, must be specifically addressed in the plan.

ENFORCEMENT: Please voluntarily comply with this emergency ordinance for the protection of all of us. If you violate this emergency ordinance, you could be enjoined in civil court or fined and penalized in accordance with criminal laws and the State Health Mandates. Thank you.

Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in two Alaska communities

April 20, 2020 — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced two new cases of COVID-19 in two Alaska communities – Palmer (1) and Chugiak (1). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 321.

These new cases were reported from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 19 and reflect data posted at noon today on coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.

Of the new cases, one is male and one is female. One is aged 30-39; and one is aged 60-69. There have been a total of 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported yesterday. Recovered cases now total 161, including eight new recovered cases recorded yesterday.

Stay informed

Questions about COVID-19?

Five new cases of COVID-19 announced in four Alaska communities

April 18, 2020 — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced five new cases of COVID-19 in four Alaska communities – Anchorage (1), Soldotna (2), Palmer (1) and Wasilla. (1). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 314.

These new cases were reported from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 17 and reflect data posted at noon today on coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.

Of the new cases, two are male and three are female. One is aged 10-19; one is aged 30-39; two are aged 40-49; and one is aged 70-79. There have been a total of 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths with no new hospitalizations and no new deaths yesterday. Recovered cases now total 147, including 19 new recovered cases recorded yesterday.

Stay informed

Questions about COVID-19?

Nine new cases of COVID-19 announced in three Alaska communities

April 17, 2020 — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced nine new cases of COVID-19 in three Alaska communities – Anchorage (7), Kenai (1), and Juneau (1). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 309.

These new cases were reported from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 16 and reflect data posted at noon today on coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.

Of the new cases, two are male and seven are female. Two are aged 10-19; one is aged 20-29; two are aged 30-39; one is aged 40-49; one is aged 50-59; and two are aged 60-69. There have been a total of 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths with one new hospitalization and no new deaths reported yesterday.

Stay informed

Questions about COVID-19?

  • For general questions and assistance, please call 2-1-1.
  • For the general public, questions regarding DHSS COVID response, including mandates and alerts, can be sent to covidquestions@alaska.gov.
  • For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov.

Sitka Unified Command Recommends Cloth Face Coverings

SITKA, April 17, 2020 – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS), Sitka Fire Department, Sitka School District (SSD), and public health officials continue to meet regularly to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sitka.

The group discussed the recommendation for all Alaskans to use cloth face coverings, specifically in public settings. Masking may reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Sitkans should ensure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth, and should avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may be contaminated). Do not remove the face covering until returning home, and when removing, best practice is to grasp the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering. Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Volunteers have been busy sewing masks, and there are stocks available in Sitka. If you need a mask, contact the Sitka EOC at pio@cityofsitka.org or at 747-1899.

The Command group urges residents 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, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

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. 

Thank you for your cooperation as our community works together to stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Seven new cases of COVID-19 announced in three Alaska communities

April 16, 2020 — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced seven new cases of COVID-19 in three Alaska communities – Anchorage (4), Kodiak (1), and Juneau (2). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 300.

These new cases were reported from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 15 and reflect data posted at noon today on coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.

The Kodiak case is the first case in the Kodiak Island Borough. Of the new cases, five are male and two are female. One is under the age of 10; two are aged 20-29; two are aged 30-39; one is aged 50-59; and one is aged 60-69. There have been a total of 35 hospitalizations and nine deaths with one new hospitalization and no new deaths yesterday.

Stay informed

Questions about COVID-19?

  • For general questions and assistance, please call 2-1-1.
  • For the general public, questions regarding DHSS COVID response, including mandates and alerts, can be sent to covidquestions@alaska.gov.
  • For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov.

** Health Mandate 15 allows some health care services to resume **

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the State of Alaska is issuing its fifteenth health mandate, based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020.

While health care is an essential service, there is also the risk of coronavirus spreading in health care facilities and to vulnerable populations. The suspension of non-essential procedures and health care have been beneficial in slowing the spread of the disease. The benefits of suspension must also be balanced with delayed health care and other health outcomes.

Health Mandate 015 is being issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy and the State of Alaska. Mandate 015 will go into effect in phases, with Section II going into effect April 20, 2020 and Section IV going into effect May 4, 2020; however, the State of Alaska reserves the right to amend the Mandate at any time.

This Mandate supersedes Mandate 005 and 006 and affects the health care providers directly addressed in Mandate 009.

Health Mandate 015 – Services by Health Care Providers

I. Applicability: This Mandate applies to the following heath care facilities and health care providers:

  1. Heath Care Facilities
    1. Hospitals, private, municipal, state, or federal, including tribal
    2. Independent diagnostic testing facilities
    3. Residential psychiatric treatment centers
    4. Skilled and intermediate nursing facilities
    5. Kidney disease treatment, including free-standing facilities
    6. Ambulatory surgery centers
    7. Free-standing birth centers
    8. Home health agencies
    9. Hospice
    10. Rural health clinics defined under AS 47.32.900(21) and 7 AAC 12.450
    11. A health care provider office (for reference see 7 AAC 07.001)
  2. Health Care Providers as Defined in Statute
    1. Acupuncturists
    2. Ambulatory Surgery Centers
    3. Assistant Behavior Analysts
    4. Athletic Trainers
    5. Audiologists/Speech-Language Pathologists
    6. Behavior Analysts
    7. Certified Nurse Aides
    8. Chiropractors
    9. Dental Hygienists
    10. Dentists
    11. Dietitians
    12. Hospitals
    13. Hearing Aid Dealers
    14. Health Aides
    15. Long-Term Care Facilities
    16. Marital and Family Therapists
    17. Massage Therapists
    18. Midwives
    19. Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics
    20. Naturopaths
    21. Nurses
    22. Nutritionists
    23. Occupational Therapy Assistants
    24. Opticians
    25. Optometrists
    26. Pharmacists
    27. Pharmacy Technicians
    28. Physical Therapists
    29. Occupational Therapists
    30. Physician Assistants
    31. Physicians/Osteopathic Physicians
    32. Podiatrists
    33. Professional Counselors
    34. Psychologists
    35. Psychological Associates
    36. Religious Healing Practitioners
    37. Social Workers
    38. Veterinarians
    39. Students training for a licensed profession who are required to receive training in a health care facility as a condition of licensure

II. Health Care Delivery
Section II goes into effect April 20, 2020

  1. Health care facilities and providers defined in statute and listed in Section I, will be able to resume services that require minimal protective equipment and follow the guidance below.
    1. Every effort should continue to be made to deliver care without being in the same physical space, such as utilizing telehealth, phone consultation, and physical barriers between providers and patients.
    2. All health care, delivered both in and out of health care facilities, (this includes hospitals, surgical centers, long-term care facilities, clinic and office care, as well as home care) shall deploy universal masking procedures in coordination with the facility infection control program. This may be a combination of cloth face coverings (for employees not present for provision of services or procedures, such as front desk staff) and surgical masks for those involved in non-aerosolizing direct-patient care.
    3. Regardless of symptoms, all health care facilities should screen all patients for recent illness, travel, fever, or recent exposure to COVID-19, and to the extent that is possible, begin testing all admitted patients.
    4. Every effort shall be made to minimize aerosolizing procedure (such as a nerve block over deep sedation or intubation).
    5. Other urgent or emergent procedures with an increased risk of exposure, such as deliveries, dental work, aerosolizing procedures such as suctioning, intubation, and breathing treatments, should have patients tested for SARS CoV-2 prior to the procedure or birth, to the extent that is reasonably possible, after considering available testing capacity and any other relevant constraints. In the alternative, clinicians should use rigorous screening procedures and treat suspicious patients as if they are positive for COVID-19.
    6. It is the duty of the provider to ensure the health considerations of staff and patients. This includes the health of the provider, ensuring providers not come to work while ill, minimizing travel of providers, and adequate personal protective equipment. They are also encouraged to utilize the following means of protection:
      1. Pre-visit telephonic screening and questionnaire.
      2. Entry screening.
      3. Lobbies and waiting rooms with defined and marked social distancing and limited occupancy.
      4. Other personal and environmental mitigation efforts such as gloves, exceptional hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and enhanced airflow.

III. Urgent and Emergent Services

  1. Health care services that are urgent or emergent should continue, but with the enhanced screening and safety measures listed in Section II.
    1. In addition to emergent surgeries and procedures that cannot be delayed without significant risk to life, surgeries and procedures are permitted to proceed if delay is deemed to cause significant impact on health, livelihood, or quality of life. Each facility should review these procedures with its task force that was created in the April 7, 2020 revision to COVID-19 Health Mandate 005. Surgeries and procedures that can be delayed without posing a significant risk to health, livelihood, or quality of life must be postponed until further notice.
    2. All patients coming to surgery should be tested for SARS CoV-2 within 48 hours of their procedure. If positive, all procedures should be considered for delay, and specifically those procedures not urgent or emergent, as defined by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), should be postponed or canceled. If a facility is unable to test patients within 48 hours of their procedure, facilities should use rigorous screening procedures and treat suspicious patients as if they are positive for COVID-19.

IV. Provision for Resuming Non-Urgent/Non-Emergent Elective Services

  1. Health care services that cannot be delayed beyond eight weeks without posing a significant risk to quality of life may resume Monday May 4, 2020 if the following conditions are met:
    1. Health care delivery can meet all of the standards outlined in Section II of this mandate.
    2. Health care is delivered by a provider listed in statute (see Section I).
    3. Health care can be safely done with a surgical mask, eye protection and gloves.
    4. If the procedure puts the health care worker at increased risk such as deliveries, dental work, or aerosolizing procedures such as suctioning, intubation, or breathing treatments then a negative PCR for Sars-CoV-2 must be obtained within 48 hours prior to the procedure.
    5. There are to be no visitors in health care facilities except for: end-of-life visits; a parent of a minor; a support person for labor and delivery settings; and only one (1) spouse or caregiver that resides with the patient will be allowed into the facility during the day of a surgery or procedure and at the time of patient discharge to allow for minimal additional exposure. If a caregiver does not reside with the patient, they can be with the patient at the time of discharge. Any of the allowed visitors must wear a fabric face covering.
    6. Workers must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from non-patients and must minimize contact with the patient.
    7. Exceptional environmental mitigation strategies must be maintained, including the protection of lobbies and front desk staff.
    8. Unlicensed assistive personnel necessary to procedures under this section may be included in service delivery.

V. Other Considerations

  1. Patients traveling for medical procedures and health care services is allowed under Health Mandate 012 to travel within Alaska as a critical personal need.
  2. Patients whose communities have established quarantines for return from intra-state travel as outlined in Attachment B – Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order, should have a plan in place, developed with their local community, for return home after their procedures.
  3. Transportation may be arranged on behalf of individuals who must travel to receive medical care and must be able to return home following the medical treatment or must arrange for their own accommodations if they are unable to return home.
  4. Every effort should be made to minimize physical interaction and encourage alternative means such as telehealth and videoconferencing. For many licensed health care professionals, this will mean continued delays in care or postponing care.
  5. Every effort should be made in the outpatient and ambulatory care setting to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and follow the following guidelines:
  6. Dental work carries an added risk of spreading COVID-19, especially to the dentist who can spread it to others and so dental guidance should be followed and are listed here:
  7. Dialysis centers provide life-saving work, but it is also a place where high-risk individuals congregate. They need to follow the following guidelines:

*** State of Alaska reserves the right to change this mandate at any time ***

THIS MANDATE SUPERSEDES ANY AND ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES OR ORDERS PUT INTO EFFECT BY BOROUGHS, MUNICIPALITIES, CITIES, VILLAGES, AND TRIBES.