Joint Recommendation Under State of Emergency to Shelter in Place

Category: Local News
Created on Sunday, 22 March 2020 16:24

BULLETIN: The following “shelter in place” recommendations were issued today by City Administrator John Leach, Fire Chief Dave Miller and SEARHC Chief Medical Director Dr. Elliot Bruhl, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

SITKA, March 22, 2020 – The Sitka Emergency Unified Command, including SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS), and the Sitka Fire Department, have been working tirelessly to prepare for COVID-19 response in Sitka. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a public health emergency that threatens to overwhelm the health system and economy of our community, endangering the lives and wellbeing of our citizens.

Governor Dunleavy has implemented several health mandates such as the closure of schools, services, and businesses, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

It is now imperative that the citizens of Sitka follow strict guidance to hunker down, shelter in place, and stay home, in order to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Due to the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus in places near Sitka, and per the recommendations of the Sitka Emergency Operations Center, we highly recommend a “Shelter in Place” protocol, strongly urging all citizens in Sitka to:

•Hunker down and shelter in place in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

•Food supply chains are fully functioning, and grocery stores will remain open. Residents who are healthy and do not believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 may shop at grocery stores but are asked to do so without lingering. If you go out, practice health directives such as handwashing and social distancing, by staying six feet away from others.

•Stay home and work from home as much as possible.

•To the extent possible, non-essential businesses are urged to close for a period of 14 days.

•Conduct business via electronic means as much as possible.

•If you are sick or suspect that you may be infected with the COVID-19 virus, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact SEARHC COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799 (7 am - 4 pm).After hours, call the Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560.

•Follow all health mandates issued by Governor Dunleavy, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). All mandates and more information can be accessed at

•If you are picking up or dropping off passengers at the airport, please consider curbside pickup and drop-off of passengers to limit the airport terminal occupancy to travelers only.

If you have recently traveled into Sitka, you MUST quarantine in accordance with CDC and DHSS mandates ( Health-Mandate-004.pdf).

Thank you for your cooperation as our community works together to stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.


John M. Leach, Municipal Administrator

Dave Miller, CBS Fire Chief

Dr. Elliot Bruhl, SEARHC Chief Medical Officer