EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Non-Alaskan Travelers To Need Negative Tests

By BECKY BOHRER
 
The Associated Press

JUNEAU (AP) — Nonresident travelers to Alaska will need to show they tested negative for COVID-19 shortly before arriving as part of an effort aimed at minimizing cases and preserving testing supplies and protective gear, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said.

“We’re not trying to make this difficult for folks to come here,” Dunleavy said during a Tuesday evening news conference. “We just want to make sure that we are taking care of Alaskans first.”

The changes take effect Aug. 11 and will require nonresidents arrive with negative results from a test taken 72 hours before arrival. Dunleavy said enforcement details are being worked out.

Currently, travelers have several testing options, including taking a test within three to five days of leaving for Alaska and being tested at an airport location when they arrive in Alaska. Those opting not to test can quarantine for 14 days. Under quarantine, one is to leave their location only for medical emergencies or necessary medical care.

Under the new protocols, quarantine will no longer be an option for nonresident travelers, Dunleavy said. 

“We feel it’s best to just go straight to a testing approach that requires folks coming in to have a negative,” he said. 

Some people will say this is a burden or problematic, he said.

“There’s no doubt that every aspect of our lives is going to be impacted by this virus, including travel,” Dunleavy said.

Alaska residents still can be tested at airports, he said.

Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, said there has been a “rapid increase” in new cases among residents and nonresidents. Travel does not appear to be the main driver of the recent increase in cases among Alaska residents, according to a slide she presented Tuesday. 

Many of the new resident cases are among those in their 20s, with cases among residents in their 20s and 30s up, according to the slide. 

Zink urged residents to avoid large gatherings, particularly those indoors; to wear face coverings in public, particularly when near others; and to wash their hands as a way to slow the virus’ spread.

The state has reported more than 2,700 cases of COVID-19 in residents and more than 600 in nonresidents. It also has reported 22 COVID-19-related deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.

 

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 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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
August 2000

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

50 YEARS AGO
August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.

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