For Cheechako that have not yet gone to a desired destination, such as parts of Alaska, it would be beneficial to review some experiences published by community sources. The state of Alaska is recognized as a destination where the challenge of sustainable tourism counts. There are plenty explanations why travel specialists are considering Alaskan road trips. Is there a recommended location?

traveling to Alaska, America's icebox

Traveling To Alaska, the 49th State



Which writer is likely to present you with the better help and advice relating to tours? In some cases finding community background information is a lot more helpful than detailed sales brochure descriptions. A different relevant blurb is getting noticed and for that reason I figured it’s worthy of reposting. By my count there are not enough guides that contain all the problems readers have. Travelers contemplating current resources will want to consider this observation talking about issues to think of while evaluating Alaskan attractions.

Some Alaskans still struggling to access coronavirus testing, even if providers think they might have it

was written by Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage , 2020-03-20 02:17:45

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This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow) — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (in blue/pink) cultured in a lab. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories)

The World Health Organization’s top official earlier this week urged countries to “test every suspected case” of coronavirus. But as the United States lags in its testing ability, that still doesn’t appear to be happening yet, including in Alaska.

Mitchel Howell lives in Mat-Su, and a couple weeks ago, he started having a tough time breathing, he said in an interview.

Earlier this week, he woke up with a sore throat, too, and then he came down with a fever. So he called a nurse’s hotline at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, and they told him to come in, he said.

What are your questions about the coronavirus in Alaska? What do you want us to know?

“They did X-rays to check for pneumonia, did a few other tests to rule everything out,” he said. “And they came back and said I’m ‘suspected confirmed.’”

But Howell said he was told the medical center is only testing people in high-risk groups, or if they’re quarantined at the hospital.

The note given to Mitchel Howell by his medical provider at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center after Howell says he was told he was a “suspected confirmed” case of the coronavirus.

“They gave me a note with quarantine procedures on it and told me to go home and come back if it gets worse,” he said.

Howell is not the only person with a story like this. Two other people with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, said they called Fairbanks Memorial Hospital’s hotline and were told they were likely infected but didn’t need to be tested.

In Southeast Alaska, Courtenay Kinkade went to her health care provider in Ketchikan with a respiratory illness and was given a note saying that she could be sick with the flu or a common cold, but added that “the novel coronavirus is also a concern.”

“Please understand that testing is limited and we will not be able to test everyone for the coronavirus to rule out this as a cause of symptoms,” her doctor wrote in a note.

Experts say testing is crucial in fighting the coronavirus because it helps health officials understand where to focus their efforts.

“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected,” Tedros Adhanom, the WHO’s top official, said at a virtual news conference this week. “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test.”

When it comes to the Alaskans who weren’t tested, providers are still telling them to isolate themselves as if they have COVID-19.

Read more of Alaska Public Media’s coverage of the coronavirus

But Howell works at a grocery store. And if he does have the coronavirus, he could have spread it to other people before he isolated himself.

Those people, if they’re showing symptoms, would also need to be quarantined to prevent further spread.

State health officials say they’re not tracking cases like Howell’s – when a provider makes the decision not to test someone that they think could be infected with COVID-19. But they also say they’re in constant conversations with providers about what they’re seeing from patients, beyond just the basic testing numbers.

“We are getting a lot of information from providers who are really paying attention to what they’re seeing in front of them, as far as the symptoms and the exposures, and asking really good questions about travel and contact,” said Louisa Castrodale, a state epidemiologist. “I think that’s really coming from across the state.”

Health officials point out that they’ve loosened restrictions on testing that were in place earlier in the pandemic. At this point, public and private labs will conduct tests on samples from any patient that, in a provider’s judgment, needs one, they said.

Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum talks before a meeting in Juneau last year. (Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

“We have opened it up. We are not limiting the providers,” Adam Crum, the state health commissioner, said at a news conference Wednesday. “If the provider wants to provide a sample and send that in, we will run that test.”

That said, health officials acknowledge that they’d still like to be doing more testing, and they say it’s possible some of the limitations might be at the provider level. One problem right now is that there aren’t enough of the swabs providers use to collect samples, Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said at Wednesday’s news conference. A day later, she asked communities to look in their clinics to see if they had extra swabs that could be used.

In the cases in the Mat-Su and Fairbanks, it’s hard to know exactly why the patients weren’t tested because the hospitals wouldn’t say. The Fairbanks hospital didn’t respond to requests for comment, and the Mat-Su hospital, in a prepared statement, said it can’t speak about specific cases and is following state guidelines.

“Our medical staff is working in collaboration with the State of Alaska Department of Health, closely following their recommendations and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s screening guidelines for patients with upper-respiratory ailments that could potentially be identified as a COVID-19 case,” spokesman Alan Craft said. “If the physician determines a patient meets the appropriate risk criteria for COVID-19, the patient is tested.”

Two dynamics likely affecting testing are the infrequency of pandemics, and a response by providers and agencies that’s evolving daily, Castrodale said.

“Things aren’t going by the book, because the book was just theoretical,” she said. “And so there are quite a few things that I think everybody learns every day.”

The state has so far prioritized tests for people who’ve been traveling, and health officials acknowledged that could make it more difficult to detect a big problem: When the coronavirus starts spreading among people in Alaska who haven’t been traveling.

But Castrodale said that the focus on travel-related transmission does not mean that the state is ignoring other possible COVID-19 cases. She noted that more than 500 tests have been run in Alaska on people whose results were negative — including dozens at out-of-state private labs, which are used for sick people who don’t have an obvious potential link to the disease.

“We’re still actively looking for COVID-19 and trying to really chase down the cases that we have and make sure we’re not going to allow this virus to take hold in our community,” Castrodale said.

While Alaskans may be tempted to blame providers or state officials for the lack of more widespread testing, they should really be focused on the federal government, said Kevin Berry, an economics professor at University of Alaska Anchorage who has studied pandemic disease.

“Most of the testing elsewhere is run, basically, by national governments,” he said. “This is something that should have been stockpiled by the federal government beforehand.”

But developing ways to test more people more quickly is more important than assigning blame, Berry said. For now, he added, Alaskans should follow public health officials’ advice: Isolate yourself if you’re sick and keep your social distance from other people.

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visiting Alaska

A Visit To Alaska

An emerging trend is the more informative written content does not come from extensive esoteric surveys but real world stories presenting individuals and small communities. Yet, surprisingly frequently it’s the largest organizations offering the more interesting and explanatory stories. Obviously there is also a place for hospitality and travel statistical data or policy assessment. Posts about visiting Alaska, the 49th State such as Some Alaskans still struggling to access coronavirus testing, even if providers think they might have it help us to look into the far reaching potential of sustainable tourism and hospitality.

Alaska is a place in which responsible travel and tourism is essential.

People will have their own opinions but the good sites for anyone vacationing in Alaska is

Glacier Bay National Park. Glacier Bay is located in southeast Alaska, around sixty air miles west of the state capital of Juneau. The nearest community is Gustavus, Alaska located 11 miles away. Glacier Bay National Park now includes over 3 million acres, and is often referred to as one of the Crown Jewels of the National Park system. The Park offers snow-capped mountain ranges soaring to 15,000 feet, seaside shorelines with protected coves, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, coastal and estuarine waters, and freshwater ponds. In addition to magnificent scenery, there are plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities along with a wide assortment of seabirds, sea and land mammals. Many visitors experience Glacier Bay National Park while on large cruiseships that visit the Park for the day, while others stay inside the Park at the Glacier Bay Lodge. While there are no roads to Glacier Bay National Park, you will discover convenient air connections to Gustavus through Juneau, Skagway and Haines. Ferry service is also offered by Juneau. Through Gustavus it is about 10 miles by road to Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours located at Bartlett cove and hosts visitor center and departure point for day boat trips to Glacier Bay National Park. Lodging inside Glacier Bay National Park are at the Glacier Bay Lodge. The lodge includes 56 rooms along with dining, activities desk, gift shop, and the Park visitor center can be found upstairs. Just about all rooms have private bath and/or shower and can accommodate up to four guests. Glacier Bay Lodge is open mid-May to mid-September every year.

a vacation in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

Going To Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, America’s icebox