Elizabeth Earl


News reporter at KDLL

The City of Seward will have an emergency meeting tomorrow at 5:30 to discuss measures to help control the spread of coronavirus in the community. The measures would include temporarily closing city-owned campgrounds, prohibiting gatherings of more than 20 people, requiring masks inside buildings open to the public, and limiting restaurants, bars, and retail stores to fifty percent capacity.

Alaska’s midnight sun is going to work for more peninsula residents as they install more and more solar panels.

The Solarize the Kenai campaign kicked off this summer, offering discounts to people who wanted to install solar panels on their homes or businesses. The campaign, headed up by community action group Kenai Change, brought residents together to ask for bids from solar installers so they could get a bargain group rate on the panels before installing them.

Elizabeth Earl

A new outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Seward has the community on edge and events cancelled.

Since last week, about a dozen people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Seward. The first signs appeared Thursday when two people were reported to have tested positive and the Department of Health and Social Services notified the public that patrons at two area bars might have been exposed. Anyone who visited the Seward Alehouse on June 21 from noon to seven, June 22 from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and June 23 from noon to 7 or 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. or who visited the Yukon Bar on June 23 was asked to be tested.

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

When the pandemic began shutting down schools and businesses in March, the best advice to avoid getting sick and getting others sick was to stay home as much as possible. As the weeks and months dragged on, though, it became clear that just staying home wasn’t really going to be possible. So businesses began reopening, and when they did, some of the employees were masked.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a cloth face covering whenever going out, primarily to avoid giving the virus to someone else if you are asymptomatic. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services highly recommends wearing a mask in public settings when it’s hard to socially distance, like in grocery stores or other indoor retail facilities. Because of the shortness of supply, both agencies are recommending people make cloth face coverings or use cloth to cover their noses and mouths, as opposed to using medical PPE, which medical workers need.

Like nearly every corner of the economy, commercial fishermen have had to adapt to the pandemic as Alaska heads into its busy salmon season. However, unlike other parts of the economy, commercial fishermen haven’t been eligible for all the federal aid available.

Until this week, a big chunk of fishermen’s payroll wasn’t eligible for help under the Payroll Protection Program, or PPP. That’s because many of them pay their crewmen with 1099s, as independent contractors. Until yesterday, they couldn’t use that to apply for the PPP. United Fishermen of Alaska executive director Frances Leach said that presented significant challenges for the fleet.