If you’ve not yet seen a desired vacation destination, such as parts of Alaska, it pays dividends to go through whatever you can find from experiences penned by local area people. The state of Alaska is widely considered a destination where the situation of green travel and tourism is essential. Stories discussing Alaska should get read. There are various explanations why tourists are interested in Alaskan road trips.

traveling to Alaska, America's icebox

A Trip To the State of Alaska



Posts from regional sources generally offer good information for consumers looking for attraction details. Yet another editorial got my attention and as a consequence the editorial staff decided it was worth sharing. By my count there are not enough unique stories that incorporate the topics people care about. I was told it is considered as suitable to highlight another informative viewpoint about issues to watch out for for tourists thinking about a trip to Alaska.

As Maniilaq details Kotzebue’s first COVID-19 case, city officials worry over enforcing testing

was written by Wesley Early, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Kotzebue , 2020-05-26 15:30:45

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Kotzebue City Hall (Photo courtesy of City of Kotzebue)

On Tuesday, May 19, Kotzebue saw its first positive case of COVID-19. 

Local health officials were pleased that the infected individual had volunteered to be tested, which ultimately led to finding the case. However, some city officials have expressed concerns over how effective voluntary testing will be moving forward, and how much authority the city has to mandate testing. 

Read the latest news about coronavirus in Alaska.

Officials from Maniilaq Association, the regional health care provider, initially gave few details about Kotzebue’s first COVID-19 case. They said the infected person had arrived in Kotzebue by plane and had voluntarily submitted to a screening at the airport. After they tested positive, they self-quarantined. 

During a more detailed presentation to the Kotzebue City Council, Tim Gilbert, president and CEO of Maniilaq, said the circumstances surrounding Kotzebue’s first case were not surprising. 

“As we discussed many times before, we felt like if the COVID-19 was going to come to our region, it was going to walk off the plane from somebody from the outside,” Gilbert said.

Like all passengers on flights incoming to Kotzebue, the man who tested positive was asked to fill out a declaration form, which asks where someone has traveled from and whether they have any underlying medical symptoms.

RELATED: How do Alaska leaders know it’s safe to reopen the economy? It’s all about data – but it’s complicated. 

Gilbert says that every passenger on the flight into Kotzebue that day took a voluntary rapid COVID-19 test, which was conducted at the FBX Aviation Services building right next to the Ralph Wien Airport. 

“While they’re waiting for the results of that test, they’re asked to remain in the area and not wander off and go to AC [Alaska Commercial Company store] or do whatever,” Gilbert said. “For this particular gentleman, he stayed in the area, didn’t go into town, didn’t interact.”

The Raplh Wien Memorial Airport in Kotzebue. (Wikimedia commons photo)

When the test came back positive, Gilbert says a Maniilaq employee drove the infected individual to the Maniilaq Health Center’s respiratory clinic. After a health screening, the passenger was then transported to the Nullagvik Hotel.

“They have set up a couple floors as COVID rooms, and that’s where he started his quarantine on Tuesday, and that’s where he remains with strict instructions to not leave the room,” Gilbert said.

Sharon Kurz, Maniilaq Vice President of Health Services, also presented with Gilbert and described the precautions Maniilaq staff took while interacting with the patient. 

RELATED: Nome hospital shuts down after employee tests positive for COVID-19

“Only individuals who were appropriately gowned in PPE (personal protective equipment) in our own vehicles that were thoroughly cleaned after to make sure there could be no contamination of other individuals,” Kurz said.

Kurz says the 19 passengers on the flight have been quarantining at the hotel since arriving in Kotzebue. 

“Unfortunately for the unhappy travelers, it’s still somewhere between three and 14 days before we’ll know whether any of those exposures resulted in somebody else contracting the COVID-19,” Kurz said. “But it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Kurz says there are two types of COVID-19 tests that Maniilaq can offer. One test is conducted with a swab that is sent to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. She says those results come back in about 48 hours. Maniilaq has access to 5,000 to 10,000 of those tests. 

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The other test is the rapid test performed at the airports. 

“We can probably only do about 100 of those and then we’ll run out,” Kurz said. “And that’s why we would want to use those on the people who have to move that day from an Alaska Airlines flight to go to a village.”

Both Kurz and Gilbert highlighted that the patient’s willingness to volunteer for the test is ultimately what allowed for them to detect it. However, Kurz says that despite efforts from Maniilaq to test every individual who comes in for a medical procedure, a concerning number of Kotzebue residents are refusing to test for COVID-19. 

“We’re still having trouble getting Kotzebue individuals to get tested when they come back from Anchorage or other traveling events,” Kurz said.

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 (Flickr photo courtesy of NIAID-RML)

Several city council members, including Eugene Smith, expressed gratitude to Maniilaq for testing the individual, as well as the individual himself for volunteering himself. However, Smith remains worried for all passengers arriving. 

“That was a big concern of mine, even in the last meeting, was why are we not mandatory testing everybody that gets off that plane,” Smith said. “According to our clerk, Dillingham is doing that, and is there a way to figure that it’s not a volunteer process.”

Gilbert says that there are varying rules and jurisdictions in communities that allow certain communities more weight in enforcing testing. He says tribes have stronger enforcement policies, pointing to Buckland as an example.

“They meet people at the airport,” Gilbert said. “They contact Bering Air to say ‘how many of our tribal members are scheduled to fly in today?’ So we’re working closely with tribes to see if they will put some teeth in their proclamations so that we can use that and show it to passengers who are village-bound.”

Councilman Matt Tekker proposed an incentive policy to increase testing in Kotzebue. 

“My question was why couldn’t we give an incentive saying if you don’t take the test, you have to quarantine for 14 days, but if you take the test and it shows negative, you still have to quarantine for like two days,” Tekker said. “That way it gives people that two days where they can generally feel their symptoms change at that time.” 

Kurz with Maniilaq says that plan could be complicated as sometimes someone could test negative, but then develop symptoms later and test positive. She says a good way to make sure people are getting tested would be for employers to individually incentivize their employees to take the test. She also says that Nome has posted a police officer at the airport to encourage testing, and she believes that has resulted in more tests in that area. 

For now, the number of positive COVID-19 cases is still just the one, and he remains in quarantine.

Read Original As Maniilaq details Kotzebue’s first COVID-19 case, city officials worry over enforcing testing Article Here

going to Alaska

A Trip To Alaska, the 49th State

One thing we’ve discovered is that the most enlightening written content does not come from sweeping technical reports but detailed viewpoints featuring individuals and small communities. Nonetheless, actually it is sometimes the large institutions that provide the more interesting and informational stories. Of course there is also a place for travel statistical reviews or policy analysis. Content about going to Alaska, the 49th State such as As Maniilaq details Kotzebue’s first COVID-19 case, city officials worry over enforcing testing assist us to look at the broad potential of sustainable hospitality and travel.

Regardless of whether it stems from marketing programs or social patterns generally visitors prefer sustainable tourism and want to think of themselves as responsible vacationers. Alaska is a destination where responsible tourism is critically important.

Considered as encouraged destinations for travelers visiting Alaska includes

Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is actually the largest national forest in the United States. It was given it’s name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit native people and goes back to 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt established the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve. In 1908 the forest had been renamed and expanded and at present the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest extends from the Pacific to the great inland ice fields that edge British Columbia and from the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island to Malaspina Glacier 500 miles to the north. About 80 percent of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass and with it’s thousands of islands, fjords and bays the national forest has 11,000 miles of shoreline. Tongass’ large coastal rain forest includes towering hemlock, spruce and red and yellow cedar. The undergrowth below themassive conifers is made up of young evergreens and shrubs such as devil’s club, blueberry and huckleberry. Moss and ferns cover the ground, and lichens adorn numerous trees and rocks.

Wildlife is plentiful all through Tongass. Sitka blacktail deer and its 2 key predators, wolf and brown bear, are found here. Black bear are common as well as mountain goats and some moose. Marine mammals spotted along the shores consist of Dall and harbor porpoises, seals and humpback, minke and orca whales and an increasing population of sea otters. The waters teem with fish including halibut and all 5 species of Pacific salmon. More bald eagles stay in this area than in any other spot in the world. Though home to the world’s biggest temperate rain forest, nearly half of Tongass is covered by ice, water, wetlands and rock. It’s most famed ice floe is the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s “Drive-in glacier” because it is only thirteen miles from downtown Juneau along a paved road. A boat trip through Petersburg or Wrangell brings you near the face of LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier on the continent. Just thirty miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in the world and very easily Alaska’s most energetic. The 76-mile-long glacier has crossed Russell Fjord several times, most recently in 2008. The rip tides and currents that flow in front of the 8-mile-wide glacier are so powerful they lead to Hubbard to calve nearly continuously. The Tongass includes nineteen wilderness areas, including the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, in addition to Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fiords National Monument. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the general area around Haines and Skagway aren’t part of the national forest.

a visit to Tongass National Forest in Alaska, America's icebox

A Visit To Tongass National Forest in Alaska, America’s icebox