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.

Doctors, other providers ask Gov. Dunleavy to mandate wearing masks

Jun 18, 2020

A group of 167 doctors and other health care providers have asked Gov. Mike Dunleavy to mandate that Alaskans wear face masks in businesses where keeping at least six feet away from others isn’t realistic. 

The governor isn’t making the change for now. 

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.

New mobile prototype kills virus with heat to extend the life of critical gear

Apr 29, 2020

As Will Frasier opens the white metal door to a mobile trailer sitting in the corner of a parking lot, he offers some cautionary advice.

“It’s about 170 degrees in there, so you will sweat. Don’t touch anything metal, because 170 degree metal will burn you,” he said, his face covered with a mask.

States across the country are working to reduce crowding in jails and prisons in response to COVID-19. Solutions run the gamut from keeping low-level offenders out to releasing some prisoners early.

In Alaska, the court system issued two court orders last month aimed at reducing the number of people in state custody.

As the fishing season ramps up, mid-sized coastal towns are finding they have little say over who shows up to work in the industry.

An updated clarifies that only the smallest, most isolated towns and villages can restrict travel or require a mandatory quarantine period for workers in industries the state deems critical.

Meet the team of Alaskans trying to trace and contain every case of COVID-19

Apr 17, 2020

One of Alaska’s first positive cases of COVID-19 was a person who’d been to a grocery store while they were infectious.

Normally, this wouldn’t be cause for concern, given the need for prolonged exposure to significantly increase a person’s risk of getting sick. But in this case, a long wait at the checkout kept the infectious person in line for more than a half-hour — potentially exposing the people behind and ahead of them to a deadly disease.

Seed sellers work overtime as gardeners stock up to allay coronavirus fears

Apr 16, 2020

Nick Schlosstein opens a filing drawer, reaches into a file called “Basil,” and pulls out a plastic baggie of small black seeds. He’s filling seed packets — a job he thought he finished weeks ago.

He and his wife Leah Wagner own and operate Foundroot, a small Alaska seed company. March is usually their busiest month, but this year is different. Seed orders are coming in at a rate the couple didn’t anticipate.