January 20 News Release: Unified Command’s Weekly Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES VACCINATIONS ON THE RISE

SITKA, January 20, 2020  – Incident Commander, John Leach reported vaccine distribution is continuing to increase with the number of people being vaccinated in Sitka. The number of case counts in Sitka continues to rise and fall with the Wastewater Report mirroring that same trend. To stay informed visit our COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

Jay Sweeney, Finance Section Chief reported that there have been 5 projects established under our request for public assistance from FEMA. March and April have been paid out; the May request has been sent but yet to receive payment; June is waiting on the environmental and historic preservation review before it is ready for payment request; July is uploaded and waiting on its final FEMA review, which is one step after the environmental and historic preservation review; August is uploaded and waiting on the initial review and staff is currently getting the September project ready for submittal to the State of Alaska before uploading for its review.

Public Health Nurse, Denise Ewing stated that we are still at high alert and reviewed the local case counts for Sitka. Ewing has been working with itinerant communities for vaccine distribution clinics to be held in the month of February and the first week of March in Port Alexander, Point Baker and Port Protection.

Harry Race Pharmacist, Trish White said this morning, January 20, they had a successful vaccination clinic and inoculated 56 people. In total, Harry Race & White’s Pharmacy has completed 107 Pfizer vaccinations and after this Friday, January 22, they will have vaccinated an additional 320 individuals with their 1st dose of Moderna. Registration is now taking place for Phase 1a Tier 3 which includes 65+, eligible healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. To register go to Harry Race COVID Vaccination Tier3 Bookings.

Rob Caldwell with Sitka Tribe of Alaska thanked Dr. Bruhl and SEARHC for the Lunch and Learn discussion on the COVID-19 vaccine held last Friday.  The recorded discussion is available for viewing at https://www.facebook.com/sitkatribe.

Janelle Vanasse, Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School reported the bulk of kids have returned to town. Their plan has been going as expected and they have been able to isolate or quarantine any students who required it.  Most students will return to in-person school on campus tomorrow, January 21.

Maegan Bosak, SEARHC Liaison shared that SEARHC, in Sitka, has given 1,550 first doses of vaccine and 430 individuals a second dose. SEARHC has moved into Group 4 and is currently taking appointments for those 65 and older, all medically vulnerable individuals aged 16-64, and all essential workers. For more information, or to register, visit covid19.SEARHC.org.

Unified Command recommends citizens to enroll for a vaccination online with Harry Race Pharmacy at Harry Race COVID Vaccination Tier3 Bookings and with SEARHC at https://covid19.searhc.org/.

We urge 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. 

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 cityofsitka.org or covid19.searhc.org.

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