COVID-19 Case Counts (Last update 03/08/21 at 5:50 PM)
Alaska's COVID vaccine rollout of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines began in December, 2020, for health care workers, first responders, and the elderly (Phase 1a). Read more about the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine.
Vaccine groups eligible as of March 3, 2021:
Phase 1a (all tiers, mainly healthcare workers and elderly) - open
Phase 1b, Tier 1 (persons 65 and over) - Scheduling open. Vaccinations began January 11.
Phase 1b, Tier 2
- Age 65 and above
- Age 50 years and above with a high-risk medical condition*
- Age 50 years and above working as an essential worker within 6 feet of others*
- PreK–12 and child care education staff
- Most healthcare workers*
- People living or working in congregate settings*
- Long-term care residents and staff*
- All persons aged 55–64 years
- Persons aged 16 and above who:
Special note: As of 2-9-21 the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is scheduling vaccination appointments for anyone over age 16. Register online here. As a tribal health organization, SEARHC may offer vaccinations on a slightly different timeline than the state.
Visit the Alaska DHSS vaccine status page to learn if you are eligible for a vaccine NOW.
- The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has begun a community vaccination program in Sitka. Anyone can add their name to SEARHC's vaccine list to receive a notification when a vaccine is available to them. Fill out the vaccine survey here. You can also call the SEARHC COVID Hotline at 907-966-8799.
- As a tribal health organization, SEARHC is distributing vaccine under guidelines established by the Indian Health Service (IHS), that may differ from the State of Alaska.
- Harry Race and White's Pharmacies are also administering vaccine in Sitka, under state guidelines. You can learn more about their plans here. If you believe you are eligible for a vaccine under state criteria, you can schedule an appointment through the state for one of the Harry Race/White's vaccination clinics at the Sitka Firehall, register with Harry Race/White's at the state's PrepMod site, or call 907-966-2101.
- Eventually the vaccine will be widely available.
As of Feb. 14, testing is no longer required for out-of-state travel. Testing is still available at airports.
Anyone arriving in Alaska by any means of transportation is encouraged to fill out a travel declaration form and self-isolation plan in the Alaska Travel Portal and arrive with proof of a negative test result.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing. The SEARHC COVID Hotline is 907-966-8799 (8 A.M. - 5 P.M.). After hours, call the Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-613-0560.
On Friday, April 3, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services issued Health Alert 10 advising Alaskans to wear face coverings in public places -- especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. This is not a mandate. Read the full text of Health Alert 10.
Some KCAW listening communities do require masks. In Tenakee Springs, masks must be worn in all buildings open to the public and on the main trail when social distancing can't be maintained. Angoon also requires masks in public buildings, churches and businesses as well as public outdoor spaces where social distancing can't be maintained.
Following on the heels of advice issued by the state on April 3, the Sitka Unified Command on April 17, 2020, recommended that all Sitkans wear cloth face coverings in public settings. This is because 1) COVID-19 is transmitted in respiratory droplets, and 2) You may not know if you've got it (i.e. you can be "asymptomatic"). Cloth face coverings protect others from an infection that you may not know you have. Masks are available at the customer service counter at Lakeside Grocery store, at True Value Hardware, Harry Race and White's Pharmacies, and other retail locations in Sitka.
Visit Sitka maintains a list of excellent resources for visitors and travel-related businesses. This information is current as of January 3, 2021:
Sitka COVID Conscious Business Program (CCB)
This program was launched recently and is intended to recognize those businesses and organizations who have taken great efforts to make their establishments accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in the program is open to all businesses and organizations in Sitka, and is voluntary.
Travel Mandates Stay in Place
Current Alaska state Health Order 8 Intrastate Travel and Health Order 6 International and Interstate Travel will remain in place with as the COVID-19 vaccines are administered across the state. For updated information about the vaccine in Alaska click here.
“Masks Required” free sign available from Sitka Chamber|Visit Sitka
We are happy to supply 8.5”x11” printed & laminated “Masks Required” signs to any business in Sitka. The signs were designed by a local artist and features a friendly bear wearing a mask. To request your sign, send an email with your contact information and the number of signs you need to Laurie Booyse at email@example.com.
UPDATED March 8, 2021:
On March 8, 2021, the CDC issued its first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. (People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 beginning at 2 weeks after they've received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine).
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Adapted from the CDC Website
Although there is now a vaccine being distributed to immunize people against the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is though to spread mainly from person to person.
Here’s what the CDC says about: