July 29 Unified Command Weekly Meeting


SITKA, July 29, 2020 – the Sitka School District reopening, CBS mask policy, and Governor Dunleavy’s press briefing were the main topics of discussion at the latest meeting of the Sitka Unified Command.

Incident Commander John Leach reported he received a draft of the Sitka School District Smart Start plan.  On July 27, Sitka was notified that we will receive 10,000 of the 30,000 cloth masks resource request from the State of Alaska. A new mask and face covering policy was enacted July 27 in City and Borough of Sitka buildings for all employees, visitors, and contractors. Governor Dunleavy announced at his July 28 press briefing that all non-residents must arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.  On August 11, airport testing will cease for non-residents. Airport testing will only be available for Alaska residents beginning August 11.

John Holst, Sitka School District Superintendent, shared that the Sitka School District plan has been endorsed by SEARHC.  SEARHC will assist with regular testing of employees. School will open on August 27. Visit the districts website, https://www.sitkaschools.org/, for more information.

Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing detailed the weekly confirmed cases throughout the state. Ewing said there were 2,797 cumulative cases in the state.

A May and April project under request for public assistance has been submitted to FEMA, reported Jay Sweeney the Finance Chief. A May project has been formulated and submitted on July 24, and is currently under review by Department of Homeland Security in Anchorage.

Sitka Unified Command urges citizens to remain diligent and practice proper hygiene measures, such as washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others and keeping your social circle small. In addition, stay home if you feel ill, wear a face covering when around others, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

 COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and sometimes decreased sense of taste and smell. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus contact 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. 

 Free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients is available every weekend. Residents can receive a self-swab nasal test between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday at the Mountainside Family Clinic alternative test site, no appointment necessary. For more information, contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 966.8799. Results are available in approximately seven (7) days.

 The Emergency Operations Center encourages residents to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.

For information on the local pandemic response, visit sitkacovid19.org or covid19.searhc.org.

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