After the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state nearly doubled over the weekend, the city of Sitka is strongly recommending Sitkans stay home and shelter-in-place. 

The Sitka Emergency Unified Command, led by officials from the city and SEARHC, issued the announcement on Sunday afternoon (3-22-20). It called for Sitkans to hunker down and work from home, and urged all non-essential businesses to close for 14 days.

Though the city doesn’t have the authority to require the closure of businesses, it’s asking businesses to determine if their services are essential, and whether or not they can operate safely under a shelter-in-place order. If they can’t, the city is asking them to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Food supply chains are fully functioning and grocery stores will remain open, though shoppers should only go if they believe they have not been exposed to the coronavirus and are asked to do so, “without lingering.” 

As of Sunday afternoon, there were still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sitka. Last week, Raven News interviewed a woman who recently returned from a trip to New York and was awaiting test results. On Sunday, she tested negative for the virus.