NO MOORE CLINIC – Contractors from CBC Construction use an excavator to tear down the  Moore Clinic building this morning. The building, which was most recently owned by SEARHC, was built in the mid-1950s by Dr. Phil Moore. Moore was a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who came to Sitka after WWII to open a clinic to treat tuberculosis patients from around the state on Japonski Island using vacated Naval base buildings. He helped develop new treatments for TB which was devastating Native communities. That operation evolved into SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. Moore also helped establish Sitka Community Hospital in the 1950s. The cleared clinic lot will likely be used for building housing by SEARHC. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Dunleavy: State to Set Own Time to Reopen

By BECKY BOHRER
The Associated Press

JUNEAU (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said the state will chart its own course in deciding how to reopen parts of the economy restricted or shut down over concerns with the coronavirus.

“We’ll continue to look at this through the lens of Alaska and what Alaska needs,” the Republican said late Thursday, noting unique aspects of the state, including isolated communities that lack the health care infrastructure of other places. 

Dunleavy said the state continues to build up its testing capacity, and its chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, has said that testing — and testing broadly — will be important as the state weighs easing restrictions. 

State officials have announced plans to lift in phases restrictions on health care activities, a process that includes calls for testing ahead of certain procedures and testing to the extent possible of patients admitted to facilities such as hospitals and long-term care centers. 

President Donald Trump released guidelines Thursday for easing business restrictions that in part call for a downward trajectory of positive tests or documented cases within a 14-day period. 

Dunleavy, a Trump ally, said the state has been looking at its data and would chart a course that “gets us back to opening up society as soon as we possibly can, again, without risking the health of Alaskans.”

The state has reported at least 309 cases of COVID-19, with nine deaths related to the disease so far. Of the reported cases, the state said 128 people have recovered. 

While the state has loosened its testing criteria, Zink this week said testing seemed to have plateaued. She said flu is down and believed respiratory illnesses in general are down so people aren’t having symptoms like fevers. She also said people are staying home and that COVID-19 can be a hard diagnosis. 

“Significant limitations” in testing capacity and capabilities early on also could have frustrated some, she said. “There is residual, kind of, ‘It was really hard for me a week ago, I’m sure it’s going to be hard now,’” Zink said. 

The state’s testing rates as of early Friday afternoon — 12.81 tests per 1,000 people __ was higher than the national rate of 10.82, according to an analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project by The Associated Press. More than half the states had rates below the national level.

Zink has said work within the state to produce testing materials and supplies has helped with a tight national supply chain.

 

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:

 

On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff

 

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 9-25-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 1:10 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 127

Total statewide – 7,254

Total (cumulative) deaths – 51

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (8 resident; 12 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 277.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

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20 YEARS AGO
September 2000

School Superintendent John Holst, Police Chief Bill McLendon and Magistrate Bruce Horton are among panelist confirmed for a community forum on teen alcohol and drug use and the new random drug testing by police in the schools. Other panelists are to be Tribal Judge Ted Borbridge, Nancy Cavanaugh, R.N.,  Asst. District Atty. Kurt Twitty, Tami Young, Trevor Chapman and School Board member Carolyn Evans.

50 YEARS AGO
September 1970

Mark Spender, son of Dr. and Mrs. Ed Spencer, and David Bickar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Bickar, are among 14,750 high school seniors honored today be being named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

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