On Aug. 31, the Bethel City Council passed a mandate requiring people arriving at the Alaska Airlines terminal to be tested for COVID-19. The mandate also states that taxi drivers picking up passengers at the airport must check that the passengers have been tested. That has been a bit awkward for drivers who are being asked to enforce the city’s law.

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, far fewer Outside hunters are coming to Alaska

Aug 28, 2020

Hunting season draws thousands of Outside tourists to Alaska every year. In 2019, The Alaska Department of Fish and Game sold 15,897 non-resident hunting licenses. The department says the coronavirus pandemic has crushed demand for non-resident hunting. So far, the department has sold only a quarter of that. As of August 12, the number of non-resident licenses was at just 3,594.  

COVID-19 restrictions spark food security concerns in Western Alaska

Aug 26, 2020

Western Alaska communities have been restricting inter-village travel to control the spread of the coronavirus, but in communities like Stebbins, that also makes it harder to get basic groceries.

Who’s looking out for Elders on the Navajo Nation?

Aug 14, 2020

A reporter documents lack of food and harsh conditions for many Diné elderly, and few willing to take responsibility.

(This is an essay written by Diné journalist Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi. This story was originally published by Searchlight New Mexico and is republished here by permission. The photos in the original story were black-and-white, and so are republished here likewise.)

COVID-19 concerns limit access to preventative care for rural women

Aug 13, 2020

The traveling breast cancer screening unit that serves Southeast Alaska won’t be visiting small communities this year, due to COVID-19. For some communities, that means some women won’t receive their annual breast exam. 

Northwest Arctic Borough residents have dealt with reductions in air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, due in part to a bankruptcy of the bush air carrier Ravn Alaska. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines also saw economic trouble which impacted their established passenger service to Kotzebue.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut much of the country down in mid-March, domestic violence shelters saw fewer people seeking sanctuary from abusive partners. In Southeast Alaska, trends have varied by community.

Yakutat sees first case of COVID-19

Jul 24, 2020

The community of Yakutat has its first case of COVID-19

Yakutat’s Incident Commander John Waldron found out Thursday morning that a resident who recently travelled outside of the community had tested positive for the virus. 

The Yakutat Community Health Center, where the person was tested, said in a media release that the person is currently isolating at home. 

In Anchorage, emergency room visits were down 30-50 percent in Alaska’s largest hospitals in March and April, according to hospital managers.

That might sound like a good thing, but emergency room doctors say that the statistic is evidence of a dangerous problem: patients not seeking medical care they need because they are afraid of catching the coronavirus.

What Alaskans learned from ‘the mother of all pandemics’

May 18, 2020

It’s October 1918 in Juneau, and the future of Alaska depends on which comes first — winter or the so-called Spanish flu.

At that time the flu had already been ravaging the outside world, infecting one-third of the global population. It added to the tragic loss of human life in World War I, which was about to end. When it was all over, records show at least 50 million total deaths from the flu worldwide.