News Release: April 28 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES EVENTS

SITKA, April 28, 2021  – Incident Commander, Craig Warren congratulated both Sitka High School and Mt. Edgecumbe High School for holding their prom events in a safe manner. He stated Silver Bay Seafood employees were 100% vaccinated and if Sitka was in low or limited alert levels, would allow for staff and employees to go off campus. He relayed the Sitka Historical Society started planning the Fourth of July events. Warren informed of an outdoor event with mitigations in place the first weekend in June that would request a permit to close a portion of Lincoln Street. He reminded that Sitka was in Low Alert Level. He urged Sitkan’s to take caution while traveling as active cases remain mostly travel related.

The CDC and Sitka Unified Command recommend continued mitigation guidance along with getting vaccinated. To stay informed visit the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

Public Health Nurse, Denise Ewing shared cases were low. She told of CDC guidelines and definition of fully vaccinated individuals. For more information on CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals go to CDC Guidelines for fully vaccinated.

Public Information Officers, Melissa Henshaw, Jessica Ieremia and Sara Peterson reported on the State of Alaska revisions to Health Advisory no. 2 and 3.

Janelle Vanasse, Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School stated next week was graduation and they had expected 300 visitors to arrive to Sitka. The ceremony would be held outdoors, weather permitting.

Trish White, Harry Race Pharmacist said that they held a vaccine clinic April 28 of both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Sitka Firehall. She noted the pause had been lifted on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She informed there would be vaccine clinics every Friday in May at the Sitka Firehall. Citizens may register for a vaccination clinic at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall.

Superintendent of the Sitka School District, John Holst stated SEARHC held a clinic on April 23 for students and an additional clinic was scheduled for the second dose on May 14. He stated by fall there would be areas reconfigured to maintain a 3-foot distance. He stated that playground protocol had changed, and the students were not required to wear masks.

Thor Christianson, Logistics mentioned it was still difficult to get some PPE.

Amy Ainslie, Unit Resource Leader noted that the Sitka COVID Conscious Business Program was still available. She encouraged businesses interested in applying visit cityofsitka.org and click on the Sitka COVID Conscious Business Program link at the top of the page. For questions email covidconscious@cityofsitka.org.

Unified Command recommends citizens enroll for a vaccination online with Harry Race Pharmacy at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall 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. 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 https://cityofsitka.org or https://covid19.searhc.org.

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COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: April 18 – 24, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide transmission rate and daily case rates decreased slightly from last week. Case rates more than doubled in Fairbanks but decreased in Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna, and Juneau regions. 
  • Alaska is currently the twelfth most vaccinated state per capita for adults 18+. 49% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 1,090 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was a 3.5% decrease from the week before. Case rates more than doubled in Fairbanks but decreased in Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna region, Juneau, the Northern Southeast, and Southwest regions.
  • Case rates increased in the Interior region, Northwest, Southern Southeast, and YK Delta regions compared with last week.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of April 25, 2021 is -0.42% and new cases are expected to halve every 164.2 days based on current modeling.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Mar 14– Mar 20Case rates Mar 21– Mar 27Case rates Mar 28– Apr 3Case rates Apr 4– Apr 10Case rates Apr 11– Apr 17Case rates Apr 18– Apr 24
Anchorage Municipality16.622.025.722.821.017.2
Fairbanks North Star Borough11.713.716.217.018.337.1
Interior Region except Fairbanks47.140.930.016.617.120.7
Juneau City and Borough4.33.85.48.19.47.4
Kenai Peninsula Borough6.26.711.815.520.119.3
Matanuska-Susitna Region36.740.949.246.948.240.6
Northern Southeast Region6.06.37.48.111.69.5
Northwest Region5.34.53.23.74.57.4
Southern Southeast Region4.04.75.46.15.811.9
Southwest Region5.35.65.110.19.35.1
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region34.126.425.920.111.612.4
Statewide17.320.123.522.322.021.8

Vaccines Status Update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of April 25, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends

Borough/Census AreaVaccination Rate for Ages 16+
April 25
1+ DoseFully Vaccinated
Aleutians East Borough56.7%34%
Aleutians West Census Area53.1%30.7%
Anchorage Municipality52.8%45.3%
Bethel Census Area68.7%60.1%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula63.7%51.8%
Chugach-Copper River Census Area49.6%44.5%
Denali Borough53.0%48.0%
Dillingham Census Area50.1%41.3%
Fairbanks North Star Borough40.1%33.9%
Haines Borough66.3%62.0%
Juneau City and Borough69.4%58.3%
Kenai Peninsula Borough41.4%36.9%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough55.5%48.4%
Kodiak Island Borough59.8%52.7%
Kusilvak Census Area69.4%56.7%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough33.6%28.8%
Nome Census Area72.1%69.3%
North Slope Borough34.2%31.0%
Northwest Arctic Borough55.7%50.5%
Petersburg Borough72.9%68.4%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area46.3%41.6%
Sitka City and Borough69.0%63.1%
Skagway Municipality78.2%74.2%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area28.4%23.9%
Wrangell City and Borough56.6%52.2%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.2%64.5%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area69.6%62.6%
Statewide49.2%42.4%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends. The call line can also be used to answer general questions about vaccine safety and to request appointments to receive a specific type of vaccine. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of April 18 through April 24, 2021, 1,090 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 3.5% decrease compared to the week prior for a total of 64,703
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,463 with 10 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,426 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 37 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • 12 deaths were reported this week (341 total), though all of these deaths occurred prior to April 24. It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during Apr 18-24 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 28 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,723 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from last weekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.1.720+520 December 2020
P.18+28 February 2021
B.1.3511020 March 2021
B.1.4271030 March 2021
B.1.42983+924 December 2020

Health Care Capacity

  • On April 25, 37 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 5 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Race

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Region

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Additional informational resources:

April 28 Pop-Up Echo: COVID-19 Vaccines for Youth Age 12-15

Don’t miss this Pop-Up ECHO on Wednesday this week!

COVID Vaccines for Youth, April 28, 2021: 6-7 pm

This Pop-Up ECHO will discuss the pending authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for youth age 12-15 and what families need to know.

This is a Q&A format intended for the general public as well as health care providers.

Tune in on Zoom: https://alaska.zoom.us/j/81647389418?pwd=S1BsMFZ3VVpCeldpZllPUEhwdFRJZz09&fbclid=IwAR3C_nMWBf5PbT_3yqX7h_N_FunJBjmXhcJCYX8aiSGnIO7kSCsXBhKRnSw#success

April 26: Sitka’s COVID-19 alert level DECREASES to LOW

Our COVID-19 Alert Level DECREASES to LOW

The following mitigation guidance is recommended:

•Masks/face coverings recommended when 6 feet of distance can’t be maintained from others

•Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet

•Limit gathering size so a minimum of 6 feet can be maintained

•Restaurants: delivery or carryout preferred

For the most current Sitka data, visit the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

DHSS Insights: Covid-19 vaccines could soon be available for 12- to 15-year-olds

April 23, 2021 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon decide whether to authorize the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 12–15. When it does, communities across Alaska have enough doses to start vaccinating children in this age group immediately, said Dr. Lisa Rabinowitz, staff physician with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Covid-19 vaccines for all ages are free. If families have health insurance, it may be billed to pay for administering the shot, but that cost won’t be passed along to families – with or without insurance.

Next week, Alaska’s health department will hold a free online webinar about this pending release of Covid-19 vaccines to youth. Families and health care providers can join this Question-and-Answer webinar at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 28, 2021. There’s no need to register in advance.

Pfizer recently submitted results to the FDA from its clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. Moderna may soon submit similar results for its vaccine, said Coleman Cutchins, Alaska’s lead clinical pharmacist focusing on COVID-19 testing and vaccination. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two doses, spaced apart. Once the FDA rules these vaccines are safe and effective for 12- to 15-year-olds, Cutchins and Alaska’s public health doctors said they would encourage families to consider vaccinating children as soon as they’re eligible.

Providing the Covid-19 vaccine to younger Alaskans will return a lot of hope to children, Cutchins said. Dr. Michelle Laufer, a pediatrician in Anchorage, said teenagers visiting her office tell her they have felt lonely, sad and depressed. Some have struggled at school, finding learning to be much harder this year.

Getting vaccinated can help kids feel like kids again, Laufer said. Vaccinated children will be able to safely hang out with other vaccinated kids. They can safely rejoin extracurricular activities like bands, musical or theater groups, and camps that have had to change how they met during the past year, if they met at all. They can feel safer going to school. If vaccinated children get exposed to someone who has Covid-19 on their soccer team or in their classroom, they no longer need to quarantine for two weeks and miss other opportunities. By participating in the vaccine effort, kids are empowered to be part of the solution to a problem which has upended their childhoods, Laufer said.

“I think it’s the way our kids get back to the most normal life as soon as possible,” said Cutchins, a parent of two teenagers in the age group that could have an authorized vaccine soon.

Covid-19 vaccines soon to be available to at least 40,000 Alaska children

To date, more than 200 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have been given nationwide without long-term serious side effects, Cutchins said. These vaccines could soon be available to at least 40,000 Alaska youth — the number of children enrolled in seventh through tenth grades at public schools in Alaska. In recent weeks, the number of Covid-19 infections has been climbing among Alaskans ages 19 and younger, making them one of the top two age groups getting infected, Cutchins said.

To date, almost 50% of eligible Alaska residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines. Providing the vaccines to 12- to 15-year-olds will make it possible for more Alaskans to be vaccinated, Rabinowitz said. This will increase the number of immunized Alaskans and help the state get closer to herd immunity — which means protection against the Covid-19 virus for communities as a whole.

Cutchins, Rabinowitz, Laufer and other Alaska public health leaders answer related questions below.

Protect yourself. Protect your family. Appointments available at covidvax.alaska.gov.

Will children ages 12 to 15 receive the same size doses as adults in a two-shot series?

Once the FDA approves emergency use of the two-dose Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 12–15, the vaccine will be no different than the vaccines given to adults. The dose is the same, as well as the timing of the two-dose series. There are 21 days between doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and 28 days between doses of the Moderna vaccine. Like vaccinated adults, children will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine, Rabinowitz said.

Cutchins said many vaccines that children and adults receive are given at the same doses, regardless of a person’s age or body size. The annual flu vaccine is one example, he said.

Dr. Elizabeth Ohlsen, staff physician with the health department, said the goal is to determine and then use the smallest amount of vaccine you can give someone to help their immune system create a good picture of the virus so the body can recognize and fight the virus if it gets exposed later. Using the smallest effective dose of vaccine for individuals will maximize the whole supply of available vaccines to protect more people worldwide, she said. 

How has this vaccine been studied in children ages 12–15?

Vaccine manufacturers and the federal government have been conducting separate studies of Covid-19 vaccines in adults and children.

“Children are considered a protected population by the FDA,” Cutchins said. That’s why the studies need to be separate from the initial trials among adults.

Pfizer has completed all levels of required clinicals trials that involved 12- to 15-year-old children and submitted its results to request emergency use of the vaccine in this age group, Cutchins said. Moderna is expected to take a similar action soon, he said. The next step for the Pfizer vaccine involves the FDA meeting to review the results of the Pfizer clinical trials to determine that using the vaccine in this age group is safe and effective. The FDA requires follow-up for all drugs and vaccines after they are approved. The FDA will continue studying Covid-19 vaccines for years to look for longer-term immunity and safety in children.

Rabinowitz said Pfizer’s clinical trial included 2,260 children ages 12–15: 1,131 of them received the Covid-19 vaccine and 1,129 received what’s called a placebo, or a shot that didn’t contain the vaccine. During the trial period, 18 children in the placebo group ended up getting Covid-19 infection. None of the vaccinated children did, Rabinowitz said.

Early results showed the Pfizer vaccine caused children’s bodies to create a robust number of antibodies to fight the Covid-19, should they be exposed to the virus in the future.

“We saw great protection from the immune system,” Rabinowitz said.

Ohlsen likes to think of antibodies like Velcro. After giving a child a vaccine, scientists check to see if the child’s body has created enough antibodies that can stick like Velcro around the invading virus, defending the rest of the body against it. A good immune response means the body responded to the vaccine by making a large number of antibodies that can stick all around the virus and stop it before it can cause infection, Ohlsen said.

Families can learn more about the Covid-19 vaccines on the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

Any vaccine Alaska receives will be authorized by the FDA through a 4-phase process.

What side effects can 12- to 15-year-old children expect after getting the vaccine?

Ohlsen said the most common side effects from the two-dose Covid-19 vaccines were not serious. Similar side effects were reported among 12- to 15-year-olds and the previously tested group of 16- to 25-year-olds. The two most common symptoms were feeling tired and having pain in the arm where the child received the vaccine. Other common symptoms included headaches, muscle aches and chills.

These symptoms go away on their own within a few days and typically do not require treatment, Ohlsen said. After getting the vaccine, some children with symptoms may feel better after taking acetaminophen or a similar over-the-counter medication.

Side effects from the vaccine are usually mild.
Side effects typically only last a few days and resolve on their own.

Can children get the Covid-19 vaccines at their pediatricians’ offices, as well as other locations?

Alaska’s Vaccine Task Force is working to increase the number of pediatricians’ and doctors’ office that will be able to provide the vaccine to children, Rabinowitz said. Parents will be able to use the Covid-19 vaccines webpage to schedule vaccine appointments for their children. Alaskans can schedule an appointment by visiting the website for vaccine scheduling or calling (907) 646-3322, which can answer calls on weekdays and weekends.

Vaccine appointment

Children may be due for vaccines to prevent other diseases, such as tetanus or meningitis. How should parents plan to schedule these vaccines along with the Covid-19 vaccine in the coming months?

When children are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, Alaska public health doctors recommended that families prioritize it even if they are due for other vaccinations. In most circumstances, children should get the COVID-19 vaccine first and then get other vaccines they may need at least two weeks later. That allows doctors and families to watch for any serious reactions after children receive vaccines and know which vaccine may be connected to those reactions, Ohlsen said.

Serious reactions after a vaccine are very rare, Ohlsen said. The FDA recommends scheduling a Covid-19 vaccine two weeks before or after other vaccines only as a precautionary measure.

This year has been challenging for families in many ways, including scheduling visits to the doctor. Some children may need to get up-to-date on other vaccinations. Doctors’ offices and public health clinics across the state are ready to give those vaccinations to help protect children against many diseases that can be prevented. Parents can check with their child’s health care provider to see if the child needs any other immunizations.

When will Covid-19 vaccines be available for children younger than age 12?

Cutchins said vaccine manufacturers have not completed enrollment for clinical trials among children younger than age 12. Once those trials are completed, the FDA will need to review the results to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective for younger children. The best estimate right now is that children younger than 12 may be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccines sometime between late fall 2021 and early 2022.

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Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update April 11 – 17, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide transmission rate and daily case rates were nearly unchanged from last week. Case rates decreased in Anchorage, the Southern Southeast, Southwest, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta regions. Case rates increased in all other regions.
  • Alaska is currently the twelfth most vaccinated state per capita. 48% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 1,129 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was a 1% increase from the week before. Case rates decreased in Anchorage, the Southern Southeast, Southwest, and YK Delta regions. Case rates increased in seven of the State’s eleven behavioral health regions this week compared with last week.
  • Matanuska-Susitna case rate increased to 48.2 from 46.9 last week. The Fairbanks North Star Borough increased to 18.3 up from 17.0 the week before.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of April 19, 2021 is 0.56% and new cases are expected to double every 124.1 days based on current modeling.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Mar 7– Mar 13Case rates Mar 14– Mar 20Case rates Mar 21– Mar 27Case rates Mar 28– Apr 3Case rates Apr 4– Apr 10Case rates Apr 11– Apr 17
Anchorage Municipality16.516.622.025.722.821.0
Fairbanks North Star Borough13.711.713.716.217.018.3
Interior Region except Fairbanks30.047.140.930.016.617.1
Juneau City and Borough6.34.33.85.48.19.4
Kenai Peninsula Borough7.66.26.711.815.520.1
Matanuska-Susitna Region38.536.740.949.246.948.2
Northern Southeast Region17.26.06.37.48.111.6
Northwest Region4.75.34.53.23.74.5
Southern Southeast Region6.14.04.75.46.15.8
Southwest Region4.35.35.65.110.19.3
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region29.734.126.425.920.111.6
Statewide17.817.320.123.522.322.0

Vaccines Status Update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of April 20, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends

Borough/Census AreaVaccination Rate for Ages 16+
April 19
1+ DoseFully Vaccinated
Aleutians East Borough57.0%34.3%
Aleutians West Census Area53.6%30.3%
Anchorage Municipality52.5%44.5%
Bethel Census Area69.1%59.8%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula64.4%52.4%
Chugach-Copper River Census Area49.2%43.5%
Denali Borough53.5%46.7%
Dillingham Census Area50.1%40.6%
Fairbanks North Star Borough39.0%32.0%
Haines Borough65.9%61.5%
Juneau City and Borough68.6%57.5%
Kenai Peninsula Borough40.5%35.6%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough54.7%46.6%
Kodiak Island Borough60.5%52.5%
Kusilvak Census Area67.5%54.7%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough32.3%27.2%
Nome Census Area71.7%68.9%
North Slope Borough34.4%31.1%
Northwest Arctic Borough55.9%50.0%
Petersburg Borough73.0%68.7%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area45.4%41.6%
Sitka City and Borough68.6%62.8%
Skagway Municipality73.2%68.7%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area28.2%23.5%
Wrangell City and Borough56.6%51.6%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.2%64.9%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area71.2%63.5%
Statewide47.7%40.5%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends. The call line can also be used to answer general questions about vaccine safety and to request appointments to receive a specific type of vaccine. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of April 11 through April 17, 2021 1,129 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 1% increase from the week before for a total of 63,561.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,426 with 14 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,389 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 37 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • 19 deaths were reported this week (329 total), though all of these deaths occurred prior to April 17. It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during Apr 11-17 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 62 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,695 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.1.71520 December 2020
P.168 February 2021
B.1.351120 March 2021
B.1.427130 March 2021
B.1.4297424 December 2020

Health Care Capacity

  • On April 19, 37 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 1 was reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Race

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Region

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Additional informational resources:

Have You Tested Positive for COVID-19 or Think You May Have Been Exposed?

Help control COVID-19 in Alaska by taking charge of your health. If you or someone you know has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and hasn’t spoken to a public health contact tracer, please call 907-531-3329 for education, resources and a contact tracing interview.

This helpline can also assist you by answering questions or helping you locate testing in your community. For more information about testing and for instructional videos on testing, quarantine and isolation please visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/testing.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0ebexnEH6rlkUn7CRSnrN5RfgqzqTfTfKvnykyZBftWxCt-ZKFPkeqF6I#positive

State of Alaska Introduces the Alaska Safe Travels App

On April 19, the State of Alaska rolled out updates to the Alaska Safe Travels program. The Alaska Travel Portal is now the Alaska Safe Travels App and features a new, simplified Alaska Safe Travels Form, which replaces the Alaska Travel Declaration.

What’s the difference? Besides the name change, the new interface has been streamlined for ease of use and the new form asks fewer than half the questions that were on the previous Alaska Travel Declaration.

Why should you use it? Travelers can use the new Alaska Travels App to pre-register for a free COVID-19 test at one of many convenient airport testing locations, and soon, travelers will also be able to pre-register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at select airports.

Where do you get it? The new app will use the same www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com website address as the Alaska Travel Portal, with iOS and Android apps available for download soon.

To read more about the State of Alaska’s guidance for travelers, please visit www.AlaskaSafeTravels.com.