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. 

China has stopped imports from European salmon suppliers due to fears of a connection between salmon imports and coronavirus, according to a report by Reuters. State-run newspapers in China reported the coronavirus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at a market in Beijing.

For Gov. Dunleavy, COVID-19 evokes century-old family loss to the flu in rural Alaska

Jun 19, 2020

As Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy faced his first set of decisions around the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of memories swirled in his mind — including a century-old one that was unique to rural Alaska.

Dunleavy grew up in Pennsylvania. But his wife, Rose, is Inupiaq, raised in the Northwest Alaska village of Noorvik, and her mother once told Dunleavy a story that connects to the state’s traumatizing experience in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.