(43) stories found containing 'variant'

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  • CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

    Ariana Figueroa|Sep 8, 2022

    WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and older. These are known as “bivalent” vaccines because they are formulated to protect against the original coronavirus strain as well as the omicron variant, which is highly contagious. “Updated COVID-19...

  • New principal visits Petersburg last week

    Chris Basinger|May 19, 2022

    Ambler Moss, the Petersburg School District's new secondary school principal, and his wife Thandar Myint visited Petersburg for the first time last week after he was offered the position. During their trip, Moss toured the schools, talked with students and staff, and met with members of the community during a meet and greet Friday evening. "We're psyched, we're excited about it, my wife's very enthusiastic about it," Moss said. Moss has experience teaching K-12 and has served as the head...

  • COVID-19 airport testing contract expires: PMC will continue providing testing

    Chris Basinger|Feb 3, 2022

    The borough's contract with the State of Alaska to provide funding for COVID-19 travel testing expired at the beginning of February. But, for now, the Petersburg Medical Center plans to continue free testing for travelers arriving to Petersburg according to PMC CEO Phil Hofstetter. The state allowed PMC to purchase antigen test kits with the remaining funds before the contract expired which Hofstetter said will be made available to travelers. PMC ordered 80 boxes of kits which contain 48 tests... Full story

  • Hospital board reviews staffing amid COVID challenges

    Chris Basinger|Feb 3, 2022

    The Petersburg Medical Center Hospital Board discussed the hospital's current staffing situation and turnover as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect its operations during its meeting on January 27. The meeting packet featured a report provided by Human Resources Director Cynthia Newman which included a list of new hires, terminations, and the numbers of other employee statuses at the hospital in 2021. During the previous year, PMC welcomed 26 new employees but had 37 terminations. The... Full story

  • School board votes to keep universal masking

    Chris Basinger|Jan 20, 2022

    The Petersburg School Board voted to continue universal masking throughout the district as part of its COVID-19 mitigation plan Tuesday night. At the beginning of Tuesday's meeting, teachers and parents spoke to the board both in support and against the continuation of universal masking. Those who supported universal masking cited the high number of positive cases nationwide with the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant and their belief that remote learning is more harmful to...

  • Active cases jump to 27

    Chris Basinger|Jan 13, 2022

    Petersburg has reached 27 active cases of COVID-19 according to the Petersburg Medical Center's COVID-19 Dashboard which was last updated Tuesday. The Petersburg School District has also begun reporting cases after students returned to school this week. As of Wednesday, Rae C. Stedman Elementary School had three active cases and four on quarantine, Mitkof Middle School had two active cases and one on quarantine, and Petersburg high school had three active cases and four on quarantine. According...

  • School board debates changes to mitigation plan

    Chris Basinger|Jan 13, 2022

    The Petersburg School Board held a work session Tuesday night to discuss potential changes to the district's COVID-19 mitigation protocols before its next regular meeting. While no action was taken at the over two-and-a-half-hour work session, it gave the board members an opportunity to prepare for action at the next board meeting and hear from experts about current guidelines and the state of the pandemic. The work session was originally scheduled for January 4 but was postponed due to flight...

  • Assembly allows emergency masking ordinance to expire

    Chris Basinger|Jan 6, 2022

    The emergency ordinance requiring masking inside public indoor spaces ended Monday night after the Petersburg Borough Assembly did not make a motion to extend it during Monday's meeting. It was first passed in a 6-0 vote with Mayor Mark Jensen excused at a special meeting on November 5 near the beginning of Petersburg's highest spike in COVID-19 cases. At the time of the meeting, the Petersburg Medical Center reported 63 active cases and later peaked at 97 active cases-the highest seen by...

  • PMC reports five active cases of COVID-19

    Jan 6, 2022

    The Petersburg Medical Center reported five active cases of COVID-19 Tuesday evening and is currently at a moderate risk level. The Petersburg School District is currently not reporting any cases of COVID-19 on its dashboard due to the winter break. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 1,597 new cases from January 3-4 in the state, 12 new resident hospitalizations, and no deaths. 60.7% of Alaskans aged five or older are fully vaccinated while only 22.3% have received a...

  • PMC anticipates more COVID-19 outbreaks

    Chris Basinger|Jan 6, 2022

    The Petersburg Medical Center Hospital Board heard an update from PMC leadership on how COVID-19 continues to affect hospital operations and PMC's expectation for future outbreaks during its meeting on December 30. Petersburg saw its highest number of active COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in November, peaking with 97. There were also two COVID-19 related medevacs in the past two months according to Infection Prevention and Quality Manager Liz Bacom who said the hospital is much b...

  • Eight active COVID-19 cases

    Dec 30, 2021

    The Petersburg Medical Center reported eight active cases Wednesday evening with a positivity rate of 7.6% in the week preceding the last update. According to PMC's COVID-19 Dashboard, the hospital is currently at a moderate risk level and is showing one healthcare worker infection. PMC is recommending that people planning on gatherings take a COVID-19 test two days before and on the morning of the gathering. The hospital is also encouraging masking, physical distancing, and maximizing fresh...

  • Guest Editorial

    Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 9, 2021

    The state of Alaska has spent decades trying to predict, forecast and even guesstimate the price of oil in an ongoing effort to help the governor and legislators draft an annual spending plan. If state officials truly could know the price of crude a month, a year, two years out, budget-building work would be much easier. Or at least more accurate. And while Alaska’s budget health, public services, education funding and road maintenance is much more dependent these years on Permanent Fund earnings than on oil revenues, any periods of high oil p...

  • To the Editor

    Dec 9, 2021

    Fearful from what if possibilities To the Editor: I have been wondering for quite a few years now but especially these last 2. When did we as a country become so hysterical, fearful from what if possibilities. Tobacco, global warming, nuclear power, acid rain, mining, logging. The list is long of things that are going to end the world. Now the latest SARS covid-19. A nuclear power plant is destroyed in Japan and the Pacific Ocean is doomed. A mine tailings dam is breached and the river is going to die. Both of these of course never happened. So...

  • Hospital Board reviews November COVID-19 outbreak

    Chris Basinger|Dec 9, 2021

    Petersburg Medical Center CEO Phil Hofstetter gave a report on the latest COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the hospital during the PMC Hospital Board's December 2 meeting. According to Hofstetter, PMC saw over 230 individual Petersburg residents with COVID-19 in November. It was the largest outbreak Petersburg has seen since the start of the pandemic, caused in part by the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant. Approximately 16% visits to the ER in November were for COVID-19 and...

  • COVID-19 outbreaks cause continued stress for healthcare workers

    Chris Basinger|Nov 4, 2021

    The Petersburg Medical Center Hospital Board met Thursday to discuss the latest COVID-19 outbreak attributed to the delta variant and its effects on the community. PMC CEO Phil Hofstetter presented a graph highlighting the two highest spikes in COVID-19 cases in Petersburg since September of 2020. The first spike occurred near the end of February and beginning of March 2020, shortly after Alaska's emergency declaration expired, and peaked at just under 70 cases. The second spike occurred near...

  • Borough manager issues emergency proclamation

    Chris Basinger|Oct 7, 2021

    Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht issued an emergency proclamation Friday recommending actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Petersburg. The proclamation recommends masking and social distancing in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, it encourages organizations and businesses to reduce capacity and avoid large gatherings. It recommends people to get vaccinated, saying they are safe, effective, and free, and get tested if they plan on traveling, are exp...

  • To the Editor

    Sep 30, 2021

    Silent majority must stand up To the Editor: We of the silent majority must stand up and make our voices heard. The only way Covid-19 or its variants will ever be behind us is if the vast majority of us are vaccinated. People say “I probably won’t get very sick.” That may be true for you and your family but you might kill your neighbor. Christians are commanded to love their neighbor as themselves. This isn’t just a suggestion, it is a commandment. You may be worried that the shot will make you sick. I had my first shot in January and my third...

  • Borough manager issues emergency proclamation

    Chris Basinger|Sep 30, 2021

    Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht issued an emergency proclamation Friday recommending actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Petersburg. The proclamation recommends masking and social distancing in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, it encourages organizations and businesses to reduce capacity and avoid large gatherings. It recommends people to get vaccinated, saying they are safe, effective, and free, and get tested if they plan on traveling, are exp... Full story

  • School Board amends mask policy

    Chris Basinger|Sep 16, 2021

    The Petersburg School Board voted to amend COVID-19 regulations set by the district's Moderate Risk Plan during Tuesday's meeting. The amendment eased the school's masking policy and made changes to color designations, travel policy, and quarantine rules outlined in the plan. The amendment passed with a vote of 4-1 with Cheryl File opposed. Most of the changes were made to the yellow status of the Moderate Risk Plan. Indoor masking is required for all K-12 students regardless of vaccination...

  • Doctors warn Covid-19 continues to surge statewide

    Chris Basinger|Sep 16, 2021

    Medical professionals spoke at the Petersburg School Board meeting Tuesday night about the impact that COVID-19 is currently having on the state of Alaska. Dr. Jennifer Hyer with the Petersburg Medical Center provided a medical update to the board. She agreed with the board's number one stated goal of maintaining in person learning and said Petersburg is fortunate to have a low number of cases and proceeded to provide context for the rest of the state. "I wish I could deliver better news but...

  • To the Editor

    Sep 16, 2021

    Well finally hate mail....rather some opinionated opposite view. Mr. Mackay is this vaccine the second coming? Are vaccinated people safe now? Maybe, but really it's only been a few months, maybe, I hope it works. Rather than believing what the CDC, WHO or Dr. Fauci are telling us let's look at actual documented history. Israel was way ahead of the curve with 80% of the adults vaccinated. That country thought they had the virus beat in July. Through the rest of July and August to now things have turned around with record cases,hospitalizations...

  • Hours reduced at Post Office

    Chris Basinger|Sep 9, 2021

    The Petersburg post office has decreased its service hours after feeling the impacts of staffing shortages according to James Boxrud at USPS Strategic Communications. The customer service window is limited to being open from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Shortened hours have resulted in lines wrapping around the building as people wait to pick up their packages or conduct transactions. Boxrud attributed the lack of staffing to hiring...

  • PSD completes first week with new protocols

    Chris Basinger|Sep 9, 2021

    The Petersburg School District held its first week of in person school with COVID-19 guidelines in effect. Approximately 430 students are expected to be attending school this year as some children are still anticipated to arrive in Petersburg. They have already made it one week without issues according to Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter "The first week was great, and kids were happy to be back, and we were happy to have them here," Kludt-Painter said. "We're off to a pretty good start." The...

  • Federal lobbyist says USCG patrol boat coming

    Chris Basinger|Sep 9, 2021

    Sebastian O'Kelly, the Borough Assembly's federal lobbyist with Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh gave an update during Tuesday's meeting. O'Kelly spoke on a number of topics pertinent to the borough that are being discussed in Washington D.C. during his report including new Coast Guard vessels, funding for a new hospital and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan. According to O'Kelly, the Coast Guard has begun upgrading its vessel fleet and will be replacing the USCGC Anacapa which is base...

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in Alaska as virus spreads

    Sep 9, 2021

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) —The number of Alaskans hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen, worrying health care providers who are facing staffing issues and fatigue and wondering when the latest wave of cases might peak. “I think our hope right now is that we’re going to hit the peak this month. I’m speaking purely from a hope standpoint,” said Jared Kosin, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. He added: “Nobody can figure out when we’re going to hit the ceiling, and that is what makes this so challenging....

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