Sixteen new COVID cases were reported in Sitka on Wednesday (9-23-21). Its the third time the daily case count has been in the double digits in the last week. 

All of the new cases are Sitka residents, according to data from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Over the last 7 days (as of yesterday, since that’s the last day that was reported) 51 coronavirus cases have been reported. Sitka will remain in high alert until fewer than 9 cases are reported over a 7 day period. 

Sitka has far less information about the new cases than it did a month ago. When the Sitka Unified Command met on Wednesday, Fire Chief Craig Warren said with the uptick in cases, he’d been fielding more complaints from Sitkans who wanted to know more information, like whether the new cases are related to travel or community spread. Warren apologized for the pared down information, but maintained that the limited data is out of the city’s control. 

“There are no backdoor meetings,” Warren said. “I don’t get to have a super secret conversation with public health or epidemiology. I can do the same search you can and get the same information off the state dashboard. And that’s the only number that we have right now.”

Warren said the numbers were always given to the EOC by public health, and due to decisions at the state level, they would no longer get the numbers in the way they were previously.

“The numbers that we are now showing are the only numbers that we’re going to get,” Warren said.

The city’s website no longer tracks non-resident COVID cases, but that data is available on the state’s website. According to the state dashboard, Sitka has reported 1082 total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. 72 percent of Sitka residents of all ages have received at least 1 dose of the COVID vaccine.