Coronavirus

With a shortened cruise season rapidly approaching, companies are working to get ready and staff seasonal positions up and running. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Shaping up, shipping in: Southeast tour companies eagerly readying for shortened season

Even if it’s a short season, it’ll set them up for success in 2022, companies say.

With a shortened cruise season rapidly approaching, companies are working to get ready and staff seasonal positions up and running. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage, Alaska. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

CDC: Florida lawsuit imperils summer cruises to Alaska

Alaska estimates that cruising contributes $3 billion a year to the state economy.

The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage, Alaska. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
A graph from the Department of Health and Social Service shows how each census region did in the “Sleeves Up for Summer” campaign, which sought to increase COVID-19 vaccinations by 25% in May 2021. (Photo provided)

State falls short of 25% vaccination goal

East Aluetians Borough only region to increase vaccinations by 25%

A graph from the Department of Health and Social Service shows how each census region did in the “Sleeves Up for Summer” campaign, which sought to increase COVID-19 vaccinations by 25% in May 2021. (Photo provided)
Sarah Knapp / Homer News
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink, M.D., left, poses for a selfie with Kelly Bolt, right, and Debbie Gardner, who work at WIC, at a meet-and-greet on Thursday, May 27, at the Homer Public Health Center in Homer.

Dr. Zink visits Homer

Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer holds meet-and-greet, visits pop-up clinic on Spit.

Sarah Knapp / Homer News
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink, M.D., left, poses for a selfie with Kelly Bolt, right, and Debbie Gardner, who work at WIC, at a meet-and-greet on Thursday, May 27, at the Homer Public Health Center in Homer.
Mount Redoubt is seen from the Kenai Bluff on July 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)

Kenai tourism granted more than $400,000 for summer marketing campaign

The grant is designed to encourage Alaskan communities to promote COVID-safe travel in the state this summer.

Mount Redoubt is seen from the Kenai Bluff on July 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
A graphic from the Vaccine Materials in Alaska Native Languages project shows a person who was recently vaccinated against COVID-19. Translated from Tlingit to English, it says “I want us to be among each other, that is why I got the shot. I love the people I am with.” (Photo provided)

Vaccine information available in Native languages

The organizations worked in tandem for two months to make the translation project possible.

A graphic from the Vaccine Materials in Alaska Native Languages project shows a person who was recently vaccinated against COVID-19. Translated from Tlingit to English, it says “I want us to be among each other, that is why I got the shot. I love the people I am with.” (Photo provided)
The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Council votes to repeal emergency declaration and utility relief

The disaster declaration was enacted on March 19, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
The Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management offered the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines at the walk-in clinic at Soldotna Prep School on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska COVID-19 cases reach lows not seen since last summer

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 45 new cases on Thursday.

The Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management offered the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines at the walk-in clinic at Soldotna Prep School on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (courtesy photo)

Alaska Voices: Alaska’s tourism industry needs help

Alaska has suffered a triple whammy of no cruise ships, a closed Canadian border and a limited supply of rental cars.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (courtesy photo)
The Kenai Fire Department offers the Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines at its mobile clinic during the first day of the Wednesday Market in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Wednesday Markets now include free walk-in vaccines

Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the state, made a trip to Soldotna on Wednesday as part of the “Sleeves Up for Summer” campaign.

The Kenai Fire Department offers the Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines at its mobile clinic during the first day of the Wednesday Market in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Moderna vaccine proves effective in kids 12 and up

Nearly 3,000 12- to 15-year-olds in Alaska had received their first Pfizer dose as of May 20.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien sits in his office in the George A. Navarre Administration Building, on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A ‘second act’: O’Brien plans for life after KPBSD

Superintendent John O’Brien spoke with the Clarion about his 16 years of service in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien sits in his office in the George A. Navarre Administration Building, on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State alert level drops to intermediate

The Kenai Peninsula Borough also remains in the intermediate alert division.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
This May 2020 photo shows an open sign illuminated on a Juneau business. Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports the state has added jobs but has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels of employment. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Alaska gains jobs but doesn’t reach pre-pandemic levels

Numbers still lagged what they were before the pandemic, per state report.

This May 2020 photo shows an open sign illuminated on a Juneau business. Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports the state has added jobs but has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels of employment. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Masks now optional at Soldotna city facilities

The Soldotna City Council will also consider the repeal of the city’s COVID-19 disaster declaration during their May 26 meeting.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
A sticker given out at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted by the Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska, is seen on March 13, 2021. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Vaccination rates climb

As of Friday afternoon, 53.7% of Alaskans 16 and up had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A sticker given out at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted by the Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska, is seen on March 13, 2021. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

‘Not out of fear’: Kenai extends disaster declaration

Those in favor of extending the declaration said it may make the process of accepting federal funds easier and could be rescinded at a later date.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
This Sept. 7, 2007, file photo shows Royal Caribbean’s “Radiance of the Seas” docked in Seward . (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)
This Sept. 7, 2007, file photo shows Royal Caribbean’s “Radiance of the Seas” docked in Seward . (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Blogtrepreneur/Flickr photo

COVID-19 resources not affected by malware attack

COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduling and the data dashboards can still be accessed through covid19.alaska.gov.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr photo