NEWS RELEASE: May 19 Unified Command Meeting


SITKA, May 19, 2021  – Incident Commander, Craig Warren announced that while Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing was traveling, data entries to the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard may lag at times due to poor internet connectivity. Warren noted Municipal Administrator, John Leach had revised the CBS COVID-19 policies, which now stated that fully vaccinated employees, the public or public contractors were no longer required to wear masks while inside CBS facilities or office buildings. He reminded this excluded the Sitka Public Library and the Sitka Fire Department where masks were still required. A multi-cruise ship memorandum had been drafted for sailing arrivals in our port starting in late July through August.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for anyone living or working in Alaska. Individuals ages 12 and up are encouraged to register for a vaccination.

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

Trish White, Harry Race & White’s Pharmacist, said they continue to hold Friday clinics at the Sitka Fire Hall. She noted the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine remained popular particularly with the fishing industry. White stated a shipment of Pfizer vaccine was expected for 12- 15-year-old children and clinics would be announced shortly. Citizens may register for a vaccination clinic at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall.

Sitka School District Superintendent, John Holst, announced the District had started to modify their masking policy within the school buildings during non-school hours. He stated masking requirements had not changed for children or when adults were working with students.

In addition, Holst said he had been working closely with Municipal Administrator, John Leach and Incident Commander, Craig Warren to create a plan for the Regions Baseball Tournament to be safely held in Sitka next week. A set of guidelines that included testing for all participants would be in place.

Finance Section Chief, Melissa Haley, announced that finance was closing out the last project with FEMA.

Thor Christianson, Logistics mentioned it was still difficult to purchase gloves.

Unified Command recommends citizens to enroll for a vaccination online with Harry Race Pharmacy at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall and with SEARHC at

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 seven days a week 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 or

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