With nearly 70 percent of the eligible population at least partially vaccinated, Sitka is starting to come out of its long COVID hibernation. Summer is just around the corner, and plans are now forming for summer activities, like outdoor concerts and 4th of July events.

When the Sitka Unified Command met last week (4-28-21), the group discussed recent and upcoming gatherings, from graduations to lawn concerts. 

Fire Chief Craig Warren congratulated the staff at local high schools for holding carefully regulated proms last month without spurring any COVID outbreaks. 

“Sitka High School and Mt. Edgecumbe High School both had their prom on the same day. They both went off without a hitch,” he said. “We saw lots of smiling kids on social media. We saw prom the way it was supposed to be.”

Warren said the Sitka Historical Society has begun planning for the 4th of July, although it’s not clear whether all of the traditional events would be included in this year’s celebration. An art walk and outdoor concert series are planned for the first week of June. With all of the activity, Warren said he felt like things were starting to inch toward “normal” again.  But he urged Sitkans to continue to be cautious, especially when traveling.

“We would have been here a lot sooner for longer if we did not have mostly travel related cases,” he said. “When we travel out of town, we become more dangerous to our community from the COVID infection. Please, every Sitkan needs to really think about what they’re doing when they’re traveling. Who they’re sitting with, who they’re entertaining and what level of protections do they have?”

Sitka remains at a “low” COVID alert level, but public health officials continue to encourage vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to follow CDC guidelines.