Sitka, Alaska (KINY) - Health experts are recommending Sitkans ensure a cloth face covering covers both the nose and mouth, and should avoid touching the front of the face covering.
Those experts, comprised of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, the City and Borough of Sitka, Sitka Fire Department, Sitka School District, and public health officials, continue to meet regularly to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sitka.
The group discussed the recommendation for all Alaskans to use cloth face coverings, specifically in public settings. Masking may reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms.
Do not remove the face covering until returning home, and when removing, best practice is to grasp the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering.
Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Volunteers have been busy sewing masks, and there are stocks available in Sitka.
If you need a mask, contact the Sitka EOC at email@example.com or at 747-1899.
The Command group urges residents to adhere to all local, state and federal mandates regarding travel, staying at home as much as possible and on the limited occasions when leaving home, to practice physical distancing of 6 feet from others. Continue to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, remain at home when sick, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.
For health questions or COVID concerns, call the COVID hotline at 966-8799 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-613-0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.