News Release: September 2 Unified Command Weekly Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND TALKS OPERATIONS AT WEEKLY MEETING

SITKA, September 2, 2020 – This week Unifed Command gave an update on the data dashboard, FEMA projects and discussed the alert level graphics.

Starting Friday, September 4, the City and Borough of Sitka will unroll a new dashboard that will provide the community a multitude of local data gathered together in one spot. This will be a local resource for parents, students, and teachers to get updated information on Sitka School District’s Smart Start operations. The dashboard will be located on the CBS COVID-19 Information Center https://cityofsitka.org/.  Additional data points will be added as we collect information.

Janelle Vanesse, Mt. Edgecumbe Superintendent, shared that student’s 7 day tests post arrival are negative and kids attended class Wednesday, September 2. 14 day tests post arrival will be taken on Friday, September 4.

Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing detailed the weekly confirmed cases throughout the state.

Rob Janik, Planning Section Chief, attended the SEARHC meeting and reported the average turnaround time for test results is 62 hours and expect to be receiving new testing equipment.

Jay Sweeney,  Finance Section Chief, shared that the Department of Homeland Security has requested additional informaton for May expenditures made at the Harbor Department and the Library. The final project requests for March and April have been submitted. Work continues on the June project request.

In closing, Incident Commander John Leach addressed a valid question about the wording on the alert level graphics the city adopted from the State of Alaska. The concern was about the usage of the word “must” in the graphic. The graphic expresses the State’s recommendation of best practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Stopping the spread of any virus takes cooperation from the community.  We are urging citizens to be good neighbors and be respectful of their community by following the mitigation guidance recommended by the State, detailed in this press release, and posted on our City website.

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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