Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Submits Draft Vaccination Plan to CDC  2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

100% Remote Learning Extended for Schools in Eastern Kenai Peninsula
 

October 14, 2020

Four schools in the Eastern Kenai Peninsula will continue to operate in 100% Remote Learning, during High COVID-19 Risk (Red) status

Today the school district leadership and KPBSD Medical Advisory Team met to discuss continued high positive COVID-19 case counts, the 7-Day trends, information from public health and DHSS stating Alaska is experiencing accelerated spread today, and determined an extension of 100% Remote Learning is merited.

Moose Pass, Seward Elementary, Middle, and High School will continue with 100% Remote Learning for one more week, through Friday, October 23, 2020. An evaluation of risk status will be made next week, and an announcement about a return to onsite-at-school learning on October 26, 2020, will be made October 22, 2020, to aid in planning purposes for families and staff.

“The decision to continue to operate KPBSD schools in High COVID-19 risk, with 100% Remote Learning, is not only to address concerns for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, but as a school district we play an important role to help our communities mitigate positive COVID-19 spread. By shifting to 100% Remote Learning during periods of high community spread, we lessen the number of large groups of people in one location. Even with our mitigation plans, we have seen an exponential growth of positive cases in our schools this past week. My hope is that we can slow the spread, and reopen schools as soon as Monday, October 26, 2020. We will all know more in the next week as the state catches up with a backlog of positive test results. I sincerely apologize for the strain and mental health concerns that this action puts on families, students, staff, and businesses in an already stressful pandemic.”

Superintendent John O’Brien

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily between 12:00–12:30. Make sure to order by noon on Friday for the following week. Note: No meals are available on Friday, October 16, 2020—it’s an inservice day for staff, no school for students
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools contacted these families directly
100% Remote Learning Extended for Schools in Eastern Kenai Peninsula  2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

100% Remote Learning Extended for 17 KPBSD Central Kenai Peninsula Schools
 

Central Kenai Peninsula Schools Update:
100% Remote Learning extended for 17 KPBSD schools in the central peninsula due to continued rising positive cases of COVID-19

Today school district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team determined that with the continued high positive COVID-19 case counts, the 7-Day trends, contact tracing information from public health and DHSS, an extension of 100% Remote Learning is merited.

The 100% Remote Learning in the central peninsula is extended an additional week, through Wednesday, October 28, 2020. A further determination of a possible additional extension will be made at that time.

NOTE: Thursday, October 29, and Friday, October 30, 2020, are parent-teacher conferences, with no school for students or Get-It-And-Go Meals. Schools will be directly communicating their plan for conferences to families.

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will continue to be in contact with their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily at school between 12:00–1:00. Note: No meals are available on October 29-30, 2020, during parent teacher conference days
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools are in contact with these families directly
  • ASAA Protocols are in effect during High Risk operations

Central Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status

Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities. Cooper Landing is not included in the 17 Central Peninsula schools:

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School
  • Kaleidoscope Charter School
  • K-Beach Elementary School
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
  • Redoubt Elementary School
  • River City Academy
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
  • Sterling Elementary School
  • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School
100% Remote Learning Extended for 17 KPBSD Central Kenai Peninsula Schools  2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

100% Remote Learning Extended for 13 KPBSD Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools
 

Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools Update:
100% Remote Learning extended for 13 KPBSD schools in the southern peninsula due to continued rising positive cases of COVID-19

Today school district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team determined that with the continued high positive COVID-19 case counts, the 7-Day trends, contact tracing information from public health and DHSS, an extension of 100% Remote Learning is merited.

The 100% Remote Learning in the southern peninsula (Homer area) is extended an additional week, through Wednesday, October 28, 2020. A further determination of a possible additional extension will be made at that time.

NOTE: Thursday, October 29, and Friday, October 30, 2020, are parent-teacher conferences, with no school for students or Get-It-And-Go Meals. Schools will be directly communicating their plan for conferences to families.

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will continue to be in contact with their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily at school between 12:00–1:00. Note: No meals are available on October 29-30, 2020, during parent teacher conference days
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools are in contact with these families directly
  • ASAA Protocols are in effect during High Risk operations

Thirteen Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status
KPBSD schools in Nanwalek, Port Graham, and Susan B. English in Seldovia are considered individually, and remain open to onsite at-school learning at this time.

  • Chapman School
  • Fireweed Academy
  • Homer Flex School
  • Homer High School
  • Homer Middle School
  • Kachemak Selo School
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary School
  • Nikolaevsk School
  • Ninilchik School
  • Paul Banks Elementary School
  • Razdolna School
  • Voznesenka School
  • West Homer Elementary School
100% Remote Learning Extended for 13 KPBSD Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools  2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

Southern Kenai Peninsula KPBSD Schools Go to 100% Remote

Beginning Tuesday, October 20, 2020, KPBSD schools in the Southern Kenai Peninsula will shift to 100% Remote Learning, and operate in High COVID-19 Risk (Red)

The school district leadership and KPBSD Medical Advisory Team reviewed the high positive case count COVID-19 cases in the Southern Kenai Peninsula today, the rising 7-Day trend, information from public health and DHSS, and determined the data merits immediate action for an additional 13 KPBSD schools. Therefore, Southern Kenai Peninsula schools will shift to 100% Remote Learning immediately, beginning Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

The 100% Remote Learning in the Southern Kenai Peninsula will be for a minimum of this week. We know that Alaska is experiencing an accelerated phase of COVID-19 spread. Several positive cases are reported each week that are connected with KPBSD schools, and contact tracing takes place for every positive staff or student COVID-19 case, to help further exposure from occurring.

*Decision Basis about operations in risk levels

To determine if schools should operate in 100% Remote Learning, or offer options for 100% Remote Learning and onsite at-school learning, district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team:

Based on this analysis and scientific data, the medical advisory team watches positive cases closely, types of community spread, and offers informed insights about safely operating schools during a pandemic.

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily at school between 12:00–1:00
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools will contact these families directly

Thirteen Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status
KPBSD schools in Nanwalek, Port Graham, and Susan B. English in Seldovia are considered individually, and remain open to onsite at-school learning at this time.

  • Chapman School
  • Fireweed Academy
  • Homer Flex School
  • Homer High School
  • Homer Middle School
  • Kachemak Selo School
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary School
  • Nikolaevsk School
  • Ninilchik School
  • Paul Banks Elementary School
  • Razdolna School
  • Voznesenka School
  • West Homer Elementary School

“The decision to operate Southern Kenai Peninsula schools in High COVID-19 risk, with 100% Remote Learning, is not only to address concerns for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, but as a school district we play an important role to help our communities mitigate positive COVID-19 spread. By shifting to 100% Remote Learning during periods of high community spread, we lessen the number of large groups of people in one location. Even with our mitigation plans, we have seen an exponential growth of positive cases in our schools this past week. My hope is that we can slow the spread, and reopen schools as soon as is safely possible. I sincerely apologize for the strain this puts on families, students, staff, and businesses in an already stressful pandemic.”

-Superintendent John O’Brien

What you can do

We urge Alaskans to exercise caution and take the following steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Do the 3 W’s: Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands

• Avoid the 3 C’s: Crowded places, close contact settings and confined or enclosed spaces. Keep contacts limited and social circles small. Avoid indoor gatherings

• Don’t ride in cars with people who are not in your household bubble

• Limit your errands and outings

• Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested even if you have just one symptom or mild symptoms

• Don’t be around others if you are not feeling well. Stay home and isolate immediately

• If you test positive, let close contacts know so they can protect others

• Quarantine quickly if you are exposed to COVID-19, for a full 14 days

Helpful Links

KPBSD COVID-19 Hub or covid19.kpbsd.org

KPBSD COVID-19 risk level dashboard

Southern Kenai Peninsula KPBSD Schools Go to 100% Remote 2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

A Hurricane Force in Every Phase of Rotary Life
 

This Bahamian Rotarian has been a whirlwind of energy since he began volunteering in high school.

by Photo by 

Growing up in Nassau, Bahamas, Roosevelt Rolle Jr. remembers how his parents extended a hand to neighbors who needed food or to friends who were without a place to stay. In high school, Rolle joined Interact, and after college, the Rotaract Club of Freeport. “My love for Rotary grew another notch,” he says, “because we had so much fun and we did a lot of volunteer work in the community.”

Roosevelt Rolle Jr., Rotary Club of Grand Bahama, Bahamas

 

After three years in Rotaract, Rolle took a year and a half off from Rotary. “I wanted to be a little more professional and make sure I was mature enough,” he recalls. Christine van der Linde, his boss and a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Lucaya, had a suggestion: She and several other Rotarians were forming a new club and thought Rolle would be a great fit. “It was a match made in heaven,” he says. On 24 June 2019, the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama chartered with 20 members, including Rolle, then age 29.

The club was barely two months old when, on 1 September 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas, causing billions of dollars in damage. “We had a bunch of new Rotarians and we were so excited to get involved in projects,” recounts Rolle. “Dorian became our project.”

Rolle and his fellow Rotarians gathered on Saturdays to sort and distribute food. The Rotary Club of Grand Bahama remained involved in the relief work until January.

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rolle and his club turned to projects such as providing meals for hospital workers. He’s taking the lessons he learned from his parents and making service central to his life.

• This story originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

A Hurricane Force in Every Phase of Rotary Life  2020-10-21 08:00:00Z 0

Youth Hockey Tournament COVID-19 Cluster and Delay of KPBSD Hockey Season Start

Any KPBSD staff or student, who participated in or attended the 2020 Termination Dust Invitational, held Oct. 2-4 at the Ben Boeke and Dempsey Anderson arenas, needs to quarantine for 14 days, through October 18, 2020* and is not permitted to attend school onsite-in-person, or report to work onsite-in-person, at a school campus until Monday, October 19, 2020.

*Dr. Ohlsen, our KPBSD state Physician Consultant for schools, explained today that this quarantine applies to our school district. Many coaches and students are still testing positive.  Any KPBSD staff or students, who participated in or attended this event, must quarantine, and not go to school or work. Students can shift to 100% Remote Learning. Staff or students who need to quarantine can reach out to their school or supervisor for further information. The last day of quarantine will be October 18, 2020, and they can return to school on Monday, October 19, 2020.  If anyone experiences any symptoms of COVID19, they should be tested.

KPBSD’s high school hockey season was slated to start Wednesday October 14, 2020 (first allowable practice date as per ASAA). As a result of this Youth Hockey event and resulting COVID-19 positive cluster, I am postponing the start of the KPBSD high school hockey season to Monday October 19, 2020.

–KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien, October 9, 2020

Anchorage Health Department News Release: October 9, 2020

AHD urges attendees of youth hockey tournament to
quarantine or isolate following cluster of COVID-19 cases

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage Health Department (AHD) is investigating a youth hockey tournament after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were identified. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is assisting with the contact tracing investigation.

Contact investigations indicate that the 2020 Termination Dust Invitational, held Oct. 2-4 at the Ben Boeke and Dempsey Anderson arenas, was attended by more than 300 players, coaches and fans. Teams from Anchorage, Eagle River/Chugiak, Wasilla/Palmer, Kenai/Soldotna and Juneau participated in the tournament. Contact investigations indicate significant close contact in indoor spaces, including locker rooms, with inconsistent use of face coverings.
To avoid further spread of COVID-19, AHD urges all attendees without symptoms to quarantine at home for 14 days, except to get tested. Additionally, AHD urges all attendees with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate from others at home for 10 days, except to get tested.

 

Most children have asymptomatic, mild or moderate symptoms and recover within one to two weeks of symptom onset. As with adults, children with medical conditions, for example, heart or lung disease, neurologic, genetic, or metabolic disorders, cancer, kidney disease, obesity, immune disorders, are at higher risk for severe disease.

“Participating in physical activity is incredibly important for everyone, especially our youth. This year we have the added challenge of ensuring those activities are done consistently in a COVID-conscious way that keeps our youth, their families, and our community healthy,” said AHD Director Heather Harris. “It is extremely important for anyone who might have been exposed at this tournament to follow COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines.”

We must stop COVID-19 with simple steps and smart choices.

  • Stay home except for essential trips.
  • Feeling even mild symptoms? Get tested. Stay home.
  • Wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet from others outside your house.
  • Avoid social gatherings, especially indoors. Gatherings are not safe.
  • Keep a log of your contact with others.
  • Stay informed by listening to public health experts.
  • Get a flu shot. Use AnchorageFluShot.org to find free flu shot clinics.
  • Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to remain vigilant. Do not underestimate COVID-19.

What you do matters. Stop the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can save lives.

###

Media Inquiries:

AHD Director Heather Harris, Epidemiologist Dr. Janet Johnston and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Chandler will be available to answer questions at the Mayor’s Community Update today, October 9, at noon.

Barry Piser, Public Information Officer, (907) 343-4622, barry.piser@anchorageak.gov

Youth Hockey Tournament COVID-19 Cluster and Delay of KPBSD Hockey Season Start 2020-10-15 08:00:00Z 0

McNeil Canyon Elementary Shifts to 100% Remote Learning

McNeil Canyon Elementary School will shift to 100% Remote Learning on Monday, October 12, 2020 for contact tracing after a positive COVID-19 case

October 11, 2020

Dear McNeil Canyon School Staff and Families,

Sunday morning, October 11, 2020, the school district learned that a positive COVID-19 case is connected to someone at McNeil Canyon Elementary School. Contact tracing is beginning, but without ample time to complete it immediately, and the potential that it affects the entire K-3rd grade classes, with positive cases trending upward, and out of an abundance of precaution, school will immediately change to 100% Remote Learning on Monday, October 12, 2020, and possibly longer. Additional communications will be sent later today, and as contact tracing happens, everyone who is a close contact will be called personally.

Kindly trust that we are working as quickly as possible, and working with public health to assess any interactions in the time period the person was at school and potential exposure to others.

Everyone who is identified as a close contact will be called personally today, and need to Quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine would likely go through October 22, 2020, and students or staff could return to school October 23, 2020. At this time, we request that everyone connected with K-3 grades limit interactions with others today, until contact tracing is complete.

Principal Pete Swanson is away right now, and making arrangements to return asap. Paul Banks Principal Eric Pederson is assisting your school through this until his return, together with Nurse Iris, district leadership, and your school team. Your school and KPBSD will share further information as it becomes known—but we may not know until Monday if the 100% Remote Learning will continue into Tuesday.

KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so the identity of a student or employee will not be revealed by the school or KPBSD, unless permission is given to do so.

Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health, and our team. As part of this public health investigation and contact tracing at school, and based on CDC guidance and Alaska DHSS protocols:

  • Everyone diagnosed with COVID-19 is kept home from school until they are no longer infectious
  • The person’s activities when they could have spread COVID-19 were assessed
  • The people who were close contacts of the person with COVID-19 are instructed to stay home from school for 14 days after the exposure. This is called quarantine and there is no way to test out of a 14-day quarantine when someone is identified as a close contact

What to know during 100% Remote Learning Monday, October 12, 2020, and possibly beyond

  • Teachers will reach out to students and parents on Monday with more information with how we are moving forward
     
  • Free Get-It-And-Go meals will be available Monday for all students during 100% Remote Learning. Daily pickup at your school between 12:00-12:30
     
  • No students or staff will be at school on Monday, October 12, 2020
     
  • You can expect regular contact as soon as there are updates. Check your School Messenger alerts, and the McNeil Canyon Facebook page.

If you have questions, kindly contact your school, Principal Pederson at 907-435-7379 until Principal Swanson returns, or call our public health agency at 907-335-3400.

You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as contact tracing takes place, and our lives are further disrupted. Together the Dragons will get through this.

McNeil Canyon Elementary Shifts to 100% Remote Learning 2020-10-15 08:00:00Z 0

100% Remote Learning Extended for Schools in Eastern Kenai Peninsula

October 14, 2020

Four schools in the Eastern Kenai Peninsula will continue to operate in 100% Remote Learning, during High COVID-19 Risk (Red) status

Today the school district leadership and KPBSD Medical Advisory Team met to discuss continued high positive COVID-19 case counts, the 7-Day trends, information from public health and DHSS stating Alaska is experiencing accelerated spread today, and determined an extension of 100% Remote Learning is merited.

Moose Pass, Seward Elementary, Middle, and High School will continue with 100% Remote Learning for one more week, through Friday, October 23, 2020. An evaluation of risk status will be made next week, and an announcement about a return to onsite-at-school learning on October 26, 2020, will be made October 22, 2020, to aid in planning purposes for families and staff.

“The decision to continue to operate KPBSD schools in High COVID-19 risk, with 100% Remote Learning, is not only to address concerns for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, but as a school district we play an important role to help our communities mitigate positive COVID-19 spread. By shifting to 100% Remote Learning during periods of high community spread, we lessen the number of large groups of people in one location. Even with our mitigation plans, we have seen an exponential growth of positive cases in our schools this past week. My hope is that we can slow the spread, and reopen schools as soon as Monday, October 26, 2020. We will all know more in the next week as the state catches up with a backlog of positive test results. I sincerely apologize for the strain and mental health concerns that this action puts on families, students, staff, and businesses in an already stressful pandemic.”

Superintendent John O’Brien

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily between 12:00–12:30. Make sure to order by noon on Friday for the following week. Note: No meals are available on Friday, October 16, 2020—it’s an inservice day for staff, no school for students
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools contacted these families directly
  • ASAA Protocols are in effect during High Risk school operations

What you can do

We urge Alaskans to exercise caution and take the following steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Do the 3 W’s: Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands

• Avoid the 3 C’s: Crowded places, close contact settings and confined or enclosed spaces. Keep contacts limited and social circles small. Avoid indoor gatherings

• Don’t ride in cars with people who are not in your household bubble

• Limit your errands and outings

• Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested even if you have just one symptom or mild symptoms

• Don’t be around others if you are not feeling well. Stay home and isolate immediately

• If you test positive, let close contacts know so they can protect others

• Quarantine quickly if you are exposed to COVID-19, for a full 14 days

*Decision Basis about operations in risk levels

To determine if schools should operate in 100% Remote Learning, or offer options for 100% Remote Learning and onsite at-school learning, district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team:

Based on this analysis and scientific data, the medical advisory team watches positive cases closely, types of community spread, and offers informed insights about safely operating schools during a pandemic.

Helpful Links

KPBSD COVID-19 Hub or covid19.kpbsd.org

KPBSD COVID-19 risk level dashboard

100% Remote Learning Extended for Schools in Eastern Kenai Peninsula 2020-10-14 08:00:00Z 0

Central Peninsula Schools Now 100% Remote Learning

Beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020,
17 KPBSD schools in the central peninsula will shift to 100% Remote Learning, and operate in High COVID-19 Risk (Red)

The school district leadership and KPBSD Medical Advisory Team discussed the high positive case count today of +14 COVID-19 cases in the central peninsula, the 7-Day trend, information from public health and DHSS, and determined the data merits immediate action for schools. Therefore, central peninsula schools will shift to 100% Remote Learning immediately, beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The 100% Remote Learning in the central peninsula will be for a minimum of one week. Today, DHSS stated that Alaska is experiencing an accelerated phase of COVID-19 spread.
Positive cases are reported daily in KPBSD schools and in the past few days in the central peninsula alone, between Nikiski Middle-High School, Nikiski North Star Elementary, Redoubt Elementary, and Skyview Middle School, contact tracing has placed over 63 staff and students in isolation or a 14-Day Quarantine.

“The decision to operate central peninsula schools in High COVID-19 risk, with 100% Remote Learning, is not only to address concerns for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, but as a school district we play an important role to help our communities mitigate positive COVID-19 spread. By shifting to 100% Remote Learning during periods of high community spread, we lessen the number of large groups of people in one location. Even with our mitigation plans, we have seen an exponential growth of positive cases in our schools this past week. My hope is that we can slow the spread, and reopen schools as soon as Monday, October 26, 2020. We will all know more in the next week as the state catches up with a backlog of positive test results. I sincerely apologize for the strain this puts on families, students, staff, and businesses in an already stressful pandemic.”

Superintendent John O’Brien

What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

  • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions, call your school if you have questions about materials, packets, or other issues
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily at school between 12:00–1:00. Note: No meals are available on Friday, October 16, 2020—it’s an inservice day for staff, no school for students
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools will contact these families directly
  • ASAA Protocols are in effect during High Risk operations. Only state level competitions are approved at this time

Central Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status

Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities. Cooper Landing is not included in the 17 Central Peninsula schools:

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School
  • Kaleidoscope Charter School
  • K-Beach Elementary School
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
  • Redoubt Elementary School
  • River City Academy
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
  • Sterling Elementary School
  • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

What you can do

We urge Alaskans to exercise caution and take the following steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Do the 3 W’s: Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands

• Avoid the 3 C’s: Crowded places, close contact settings and confined or enclosed spaces. Keep contacts limited and social circles small. Avoid indoor gatherings

• Don’t ride in cars with people who are not in your household bubble

• Limit your errands and outings

• Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested even if you have just one symptom or mild symptoms

• Don’t be around others if you are not feeling well. Stay home and isolate immediately

• If you test positive, let close contacts know so they can protect others

• Quarantine quickly if you are exposed to COVID-19, for a full 14 days

*Decision Basis about operations in risk levels
To determine if schools should operate in 100% Remote Learning, or offer options for 100% Remote Learning and onsite at-school learning, district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team:

Based on this analysis and scientific data, the medical advisory team watches positive cases closely, types of community spread, and offers informed insights about safely operating schools during a pandemic.

Helpful Links

KPBSD COVID-19 Hub or covid19.kpbsd.org

KPBSD COVID-19 risk level dashboard

Central Peninsula Schools Now 100% Remote Learning 2020-10-14 08:00:00Z 0

Alaska Weekly Case Analysis September 27- October 3, 2020

 
 

COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Case Analysis

September 27- October 3, 2020

Case trends and predictions

  • Alaska saw a sharp acceleration in new cases in the last week. The state had previously seen a steady rise over the preceding six weeks, but this last week saw substantial increases in case rates in nearly every region, with the largest increases in cases in Anchorage and Fairbanks. 
  • The daily state case rate as of October 3 data is 16.3, up from 11.7 on September 26th. This number is cases per 100,000 people averaged over the last 14 days. The state alert level is high. 
  • Compared to other states’ case rates, Alaska’s average case rate per capita over the last 7 days (20.1 average daily cases over the last week per 100,000) has jumped from #24 up to tying for #13 with Tennessee, just below Wyoming (21.6) and worse off than Alabama and Kansas, both at 19.6. between Nevada (13.4) and Indiana (12.7). If Anchorage were its own state, its 7-day case rate (18.4) would put it at rank #6, between Utah and Idaho, and if Fairbanks were a state, its 7-day rate of 33.6 would make it #5 in the nation, just behind Montana. The North Slope Borough would be #4 with a 7-day rate of 34.9, while the Northwest Arctic Borough’s 7-day case rate of 63.7 puts it at a higher average case rate this week than any state average in the US. Nationally, cases have been rising since mid-September, particularly in the Midwest but increases have been seen in most states this week. 24 states currently have 7-day average case rates over 15 per 100,000.
  • The reproductive number, a measure of contagion, is currently estimated to be approximately 1.14, an increase from 1.03 one week ago. A reproductive number of 1 means that each person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 gives it on average to one other person. A reproductive number of more than 1 means that the epidemic is growing, and the goal is to have enough people wear masks, stay at least 6 feet from others, and stay home and get tested when they are sick that Alaska’s reproductive number decreases to well below 1. Our reproductive number was below 1 as recently as late August.
  • An updated model epidemic curve predicts Alaska’s cases will continue to accelerate over the next week. One week ago, cases were now expected to double every 105 days, with a daily projected growth rate of 0.66%. This projection has worsened, with cases now expected to double around every 22 days, with a daily projected growth rate of around 3%.
  • Nonresident cases, which peaked in late July, decreased over August and continue to downtrend.
  • Alaska continues to have the fewest COVID-19 related deaths per capita of any US state, but this week passed Wyoming in total number of deaths. 

Regional trends

  • Anchorage Municipality and Fairbanks North Star Borough both had substantial increases in case rates this week, indicating accelerating cases and high levels of community transmission. Anchorage Municipality’s case rate is now 21.5 from 16.1 last week, while Fairbanks North Star Borough is at 21.2 from 16.3. 
  • Northwest Region increased from 27.9 to 30.7, remaining the highest rate of new cases of any borough reported.
  • The Interior Region and Mat-Su both saw significant case increases this week and moved into the intermediate zone, with case rates increasing to 7.9 and 5.9 respectively.
  • Juneau City and Borough improved to 7.4 from 12.3 the week before and is now in the intermediate zone.
  • The Y-K Delta region improved from 8.7 to 7.1, remaining within the intermediate zone.
  • The Interior Region, Kenai and Northern Southeast Region also saw increases this week but remain in the low transmission zone

Regional case trends

Behavioral Health Region

Average new cases Aug 16 - 29

Average new cases Aug 23- Sept 5

Average new cases  Aug 30- Sept 12

Average new cases Sept 5- Sept 19

Average new cases Sept 12- Sept 26

Average new cases Sept 27- Oct 3

Anchorage Municipality

12.6

14.1

13.5

13.2

16.1

21.5

Fairbanks North Star Borough

10.8

13.7

17.1

15.9

16.3

21.2

Interior Region except Fairbanks North Star Borough

7.9

4.3

2.7

3.1

4.9

7.9

Juneau City and Borough

5.1

6.3

13.4

16.3

12.3

7.37

Kenai Peninsula Borough

5.8

2.9

2.2

1.8

2.5

3.55

Matanuska-Susitna Region

6.2

4.9

4.3

4.7

4.0

5.86

Northern Southeast Region

6.3

5.2

2.1

3.1

4.2

4.89

Northwest Region

12.7

11.0

10.7

15.6

27.9

30.7

Southern Southeast Region

6.1

5.2

2.5

Insufficient data; low case rate

Insufficient data; low case rate

Insufficient data; low case rate

Southwest Region

1.7

2.3

4.2

3.5

3.5

4.7

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region

7.3

7.6

6.0 

8.4

8.7

7.1

Statewide

7.0

7.9

8.7

10.2

11.7

16.3

New cases, hospitalizations and deaths

  • This week saw 924 new cases in Alaskans, a significant jump from last week’s 645 new cases, for a total of 8,405 cumulative cases in Alaskans. While 3,701 of those are recorded as being active, or 44%, and 4,704 Alaskans are thought to have recovered or completed their isolation period, data on recovery lags data on new cases and is not up to date. This should not be interpreted as the number of true active cases decreasing since data entry of recovered cases has increased in recent weeks; true active cases are likely increasing significantly with rising case rates. For that reason, in future weekly case summaries we will not report the number of active or recorded cases, although this information can be obtained at the DHSS Data Hub linked above.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 300 with 17 new this week.
  • Deaths among Alaska residents increased by 2 to 58 total.
  • There were 21 nonresident cases identified this week, for a total of 971. 

How COVID-19 spreads in Alaska

  • The majority of new infections among Alaskans are from community spread, not from travel. Most Alaskans get the virus from someone they work, socialize, or go to school with.
  • Many cases do not have a clear source, meaning that contact tracers have not been able to identify where the person got the virus. This means that there are cases in our communities that we do not know about.
  • Many Alaskans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 report that they went to social gatherings, community events, church services and other social venues while they were contagious but before they knew they had the virus.
  • The distribution of cases among people of different races and ethnicities has not changed significantly since last week.
  • Cases continue to increase most rapidly in young adult Alaskans aged 20-39. 

    Alaska Weekly Case Analysis September 27- October 3, 2020 2020-10-08 08:00:00Z 0

    The Conversation: Jeanne Gang
     

    A renowned Rotary alum affirms her commitment to environmentally sustainable architecture

    Growing up in Belvidere, Illinois, a city 70 miles northwest of Chicago, Jeanne Gang didn’t have to go far to glimpse her future. Her father, James, was a civil engineer and highway superintendent in Boone County, and on Saturday mornings, the girl who would one day become a world-renowned architect would visit his office and sit at the drafters’ drawing boards or clamber onto the heavy equipment used in road construction that sat idle in the county garage. On family vacations, James would pack his wife, Marjorie, and their four daughters into the family station wagon to drive around and look at bridges. “I really loved that,” recalls Gang. “We traveled to almost all the states, and I developed a love for the great landscapes that we have in this country.”

    Gang’s education continued at the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a degree in architecture in 1986. The recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, she traveled to Switzerland to study at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal University of Technical Studies). “I gained exposure to an international faculty and students that brought depth to my understanding of urban design,” she says. “Being able to do that really expanded my horizons.” She went on to earn her master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design — where she now serves as a Professor in Practice — and spent two years working with Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

    In 1995, Gang took a job in Chicago, a city with arguably the greatest collection of buildings in the United States — or at least, as Gang has asserted, the city with “the highest architecture IQ in the country.” Two years later, she started her own firm there; known today as Studio Gang, it also has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Paris.

    In 2010, Gang established herself as Chicago’s most prominent and creative architect with her 82-story Aqua Tower, a sensuously undulating building whose curved concrete overhangs evoke rippling water while also diffusing the Windy City winds. A structure both profoundly beautiful and eminently practical, Aqua earned Gang a slew of accolades and awards: Emporis, a global building-data research company, anointed it the best new skyscraper of the year, and PETA chimed in with a Proggy Award for the building’s bird-friendly design (also a characteristic of other Gang works). The following year she won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”; the foundation praised her “unusual optical poetry ... and integrative approach to contemporary building.”

    There was, for Gang, one galling aspect to Aqua: It was often identified as the tallest building in the world designed by a woman. (“It would be better to be known as a great architect without the qualifier,” she says.) Aqua has since been eclipsed in height by another Chicago skyscraper: Gang’s 101-story Vista Tower, which is expected to open this year. And in June, the publisher Phaidon released Studio Gang: Architecture, a lavishly illustrated retrospective of the firm’s accomplishments over two decades. “The new book is about what ties all of our projects together, the ideas that cohere across different categories,” Gang says.

    In typical Gang fashion, the book also looks toward the future. “How might we leverage and expand on the creative, collaborative nature of the profession to together shift societal values toward a more balanced and thriving planet?” Gang asks. “Our first 20 years of answers are collected in this book.”

    Recently, Paul Engleman, a frequent contributor to Rotary magazine, talked with Gang about a number of topics, including her commitment to sustainability, her office’s green roof, and the civic and ecological ambitions of Studio Gang.


    How would you describe the work you do and your approach to it?

    The way I sum up the practice is that we’re like-minded professionals working collaboratively and collectively on projects that connect people to each other and to their environment. In urban settings, that means bringing biodiverse nature back into cities so people can experience it. I’m passionate about the environment, and I want others to be too. Not everyone can get into the technical details of how we make our buildings greener. But they can get into developing a stronger connection to their environment. If you can make a space so compelling that people go out of their way to be there, that’s a great way to start building a good relationship between people and the environment, while also building stronger communities. We’re living in a time that is so polarizing that we’re losing our connections to one another. At Studio Gang, we want to connect people to each other. We design buildings, neighborhoods, and cities, and we use different media to express our ideas and the ideas of our clients and collaborators: books, exhibitions, and drawings and handmade models.

    We’re working collaboratively and collectively on projects that connect people to each other and to their environment.

    For an architect, what are the major elements of sustainability?

    At the most basic level, it’s about reducing carbon emissions. Buildings are responsible for about 39 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, so we have to work to make them less polluting in their construction and operation. But sustainability is also about social justice, equal rights, and reducing poverty. It’s about supporting nature and bringing it into the city so people can appreciate the ecosystem services that nature provides. We installed a green roof at our own headquarters in Chicago — and not just any green roof. It has more than 50 different plant species that support wildlife in the city: birds, insects, even bats. It’s a big experiment, and every year we measure the success or failure of it in a “bio-blitz.” We try to bring these sensibilities to all of our projects.

    How do you incorporate the goals of sustainability into projects?

    You look at what you have to work with and how you can shift available energy around to make the most use of it. You look at what assets and needs the client has, based on their location and climate. Then you work with engineers to incorporate those assets into the architecture. In Michigan, where we did the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, there happens to be a tree type, white cedar, that is sustainably deployed. We modernized an old technique using the cedar as cordwood masonry, which uses all parts of the tree. It actually sequesters carbon. That went well with the center’s personality and its site. It’s visible, exciting, and beautiful.

    How far have architects come in terms of working toward sustainability?

    When I was an undergraduate, a lot of my teachers were former hippies. They were into solar power, living off the grid, that kind of thing. When I started practicing, that conversation was almost nonexistent. By starting my own practice, I was able to get back into that and adopt new approaches to making green buildings. These days, many of our clients are actually looking for these kinds of ideas and starting to ask for better-performing buildings. We’re designing a new global terminal at O’Hare airport in Chicago. The mayor wants to make it the world’s greenest airport. That’s a big advancement from when I started the firm. 

    Does having local governments as clients add a degree of difficulty in terms of resistance to innovation?

    You can encounter resistance in the private sector too. A problem I’m concerned with right now is the reuse of old heritage buildings. There seems to be a conflict between historical preservation and making a building sustainable. There shouldn’t be. Those goals should go hand in hand. You shouldn’t have to install single-pane windows because they existed in the original. That is literally what you’re asked to do to maintain the historic preservation label. I think that’s a problem we have to address soon. I think reuse should be more aligned with efficiency than with pure historical preservation.

    Is a net-zero carbon footprint a feasible goal in building construction?

    It’s not a question of whether it’s feasible. We have to do it. It’s an urgent thing, but it’s not easy to get there. We have two projects that are striving for that. At the California College of the Arts, we’re using a microgrid as part of the solution. They have activities like glass blowing, which produces excess heat. So one could use that heat to create energy to produce hot water in the residence halls. I like working at different scales and on different types of buildings and not specializing. We can innovate a lot that way, because we find strategies that work in one building type and can apply them in other building types.

    Sustainability is also about social justice, equal rights, and reducing poverty.

    Tell me about Polis Station, Studio Gang’s contribution to the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015.

    That was an attempt to present a concept as an open-source idea for other people to adopt. A lot of people are thinking about the problem between police and community members — the fear that police put into members of the community that they should be trying to protect. We wanted to explore what public safety might look like in these publicly owned buildings. We wanted to see if the design could start to positively impact those relationships. We recently completed a fire-rescue training facility in Brooklyn. It’s interesting that everyone loves rescue workers and firefighters, and that firehouses are often open buildings, completely different from police stations. For the Polis Station exhibit, we took policy guidelines that had been developed by experts on ways to improve the relationships between police and community members and tried to think about how they could be expressed in a physical structure.

    How does that align with the work you did with the Neighborhood Activation Study in New York?

    We were hired by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to do an urban design study aimed at creating safe spaces in two neighborhoods. It’s about improving relationships on a community scale, but not necessarily by way of a building. We were defining what the projects could be, and the city will then hire architects to design the projects. Doing a design study is a different way of having an impact.

    Is there a type of structure or project that you haven’t done yet but would really like to do? A prison? A bridge?

    I definitely don’t want to do a prison. Bridges are good metaphorically. We are doing a bridge — a pedestrian bridge — in Wisconsin at the Beloit College Powerhouse, which repurposes a former coal-burning power plant as a student union centered on wellness and recreation. I’m really interested in the hybridization of different types of buildings. If you have a hotel that is also a community center, something that happens casually now could be much stronger. There are a lot of interesting combinations that could happen. I want to bring different programs together into buildings. At the American Museum of Natural History in New York [where the Studio Gang-designed Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is slated for a 2022 opening], they’re bringing together their technical programs and the arts — and different kinds of media are being adopted in the arts. It’s exciting for us as designers. We’re mixing classroom and exhibit spaces, and we’re thinking of it as an institution that has a strong educational focus at all levels, from kids to teachers to PhD students. It’s a research institution that’s also focused on education for visitors.

    Green or LEED buildings

    • 10increase in asset value over traditional buildings
    • 20lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings
    • 62fewer greenhouse gas emissions than an average building
    • $167.4 billion generated in Gross Domestic Product in the U.S. between 2011-14

    Are energy-efficient innovations for buildings unaffordable luxuries for some people?

    That’s a difficult question, because there are so many different ways to do affordable housing. A lot of affordable housing already uses wood construction. Surely there is less of a carbon footprint in a modest-size apartment built with wood than in a large, elaborate, high-end home. When you look at carbon footprint per household, it wouldn’t be an equal calculation. Sometimes it’s required that affordable housing be woven into a project. We are finishing up a high-rise in San Francisco, called Mira, that’s very high performing, and yet 40 percent of the homes there are being sold below market rate.

    When Rotarians travel internationally, how should they think about architecture?

    It’s good to see architecture in different places, because it’s always informed by the culture that’s there. Some interesting projects that are happening now involve designers thinking about mitigating natural disaster. Rotarians could think about how design could improve places that they travel to. There’s a flow of people on the move because of natural disasters or wars. I think there’s probably a good project in thinking about how to accommodate people who are displaced.

    Career Highlights

    1997 Jeanne Gang opens her own architecture firm, known today as Studio Gang.

    2003 Gang unveils her first public building, the renovated Starlight Theater in Rockford, Illinois.

    2010 Emporis names Aqua, Gang’s 82-story Chicago high-rise, its best new skyscraper of the year.

    2011 Gang wins a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

    2012 The Art Institute of Chicago stages Building: Inside Studio Gang, the firm’s first solo exhibition.

    2017 Jeanne Gang is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    2019 An architectural team led by Studio Gang wins an international competition to design a new global terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

    2020 Chicago’s Vista Tower and the publication of Studio Gang: Architecture cap the firm’s first 20-plus years.

    The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

    Read more

    • Photo by Saverio Truglia, courtesy of Studio Gang

    • This story originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

    The Conversation: Jeanne Gang  2020-10-07 08:00:00Z 0

    City of Homer Household Economic Relief Grant Program

    Small house made of blocks sits on top of a pile of cash register receipts.

    Households who are struggling to pay rent, mortgage or utility payments or need help paying for groceries, medicine and other household expenses caused by hardships related to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for assistance from the City of Homer's Household Economic Relief Grant, or HERG. 

    Utilizing Federal CARES Act grant funds, Homer City Council authorized $1.5 million for the HERG program.  It is intended to provide economic stability to households within the City of Homer that have suffered economic hardship between March 1- December 30, 2020, either from a loss of income or increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding of up to $1,500 in grants is available per household. 

    Deadline to apply:  Friday, October 16, 2020!

    To qualify for HERG funding, applicants must meet the eligibility criteria*:

    Who Qualifies?

    HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIC RELIEF GRANT

    At least one adult member (18 or older) of the household must be a City of Homer resident, permanently living within the city limits prior to March 1, 2020. They will be considered the “Head of Household” by the City and will complete the application on the household’s behalf. Applicants must provide valid photo I.D., two current pieces of mail to prove residency, and a completed W-9 form from the Internal Revenue Service.

    The Head of Household must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent legal resident in order to receive grant funding.

    Only one grant is available per household. All members of the household over the age of 18 must be listed in the application. A household may consist of a single individual.

    The Head of Household on behalf of the household, must agree the household was/is negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and disclose, certify and document how the household has experienced, or continues to experience, economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with hardship incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. If it is determined the HERG funds were used for an ineligible purpose or that a household received more than one HERG grant, the applicant may be required to return those funds back to the City.

    HERG funds cannot be used to reimburse an expense that was already covered by or anticipated to be covered by another COVID-19 assistance/relief grant.

    * The City reserves the right to interpret the terms of this program.

    How to Apply

    Apply ONLINE:

    https://www.cityofhomer-ak.online/HERG-Program-Policy

    or DOWNLOAD and PRINT applications at the bottom of the page and return to the City of Homer's Finance Department's dropbox by City Hall entrance on Pioneer Avenue. Please secure your application within a sealed envelope addressed to Sara Perman.

    Completed applications may also be mailed to: 

    City of Homer
    ATTN: HERG - Sara Perman
    491 East Pioneer Avenue
    Homer, AK 99603

    Mailed applications must be postmarked by 5:00 pm, Friday, October 16th, 2020.

    Applications must be submitted with a copy of a valid photo ID, two forms of residence verification, and a completed W-9 form from the Internal Revenue Service.

    • Valid forms of photo ID include an up-to-date drivers license, state ID, U.S. Passport, certified copy of U.S. Birth Certificate, or I-551 Resident Alien/ Permanent Resident Card.
    • Valid forms of residence verification include mortgage statements, Kenai Peninsula Borough Property Tax statement, home utility bills, signed lease agreements, employment documents, two first class mail parcels with postmark, or signed letter on official letterhead verifying residency from housing authority/shelter.
    City of Homer Household Economic Relief Grant Program 2020-10-07 08:00:00Z 0

    KPBSD Eastern Peninsula schools may shift to 100% Remote Learning

     

    October 7, 2020

    Dear KPBSD Eastern Peninsula Families and Staff:

    We know you are concerned and watching the COVID-19 risk levels closely. The school district and KPBSD Medical Advisory Team joins your concern and on Wednesday carefully analyzed a spectrum of information and data.*

    Advance Notice: if positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the eastern peninsula over the next few days, there is a high likelihood we will shift to 100% Remote Learning on Monday, October 12, 2020, for a minimum of one week. A decision will be made no later than Sunday.

    At this time, Eastern Peninsula schools (Seward and Moose Pass) will continue to operate in Medium Risk (yellow) status this week, even though the 14-Day positive case count indicates high-risk levels. This means that schools will remain open to onsite at-school learning. The medical advisory team is watching this closely, and if positive cases are linked to a school, or trend upward Thursday or Friday, an updated decision for next week to operate schools at High Risk and 100% Remote Learning could happen, and will be communicated to staff and families immediately.

    *Decision Basis
    To determine if it is appropriate to shift schools to 100% Remote Learning when the 14-Day count data moved the Eastern Peninsula into high risk on October 7, 2020, the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team:

    • Analyzed the 14-Day positive COVID-19 case counts
      • Note: four positive cases will drop from the 14-Day case count in the next four days, which moves Eastern Peninsula into Medium Risk, if no additional positive cases are added
    • Analyzed the 7-Day positivity trend
    • Consulted with public health contact tracing knowledge, and local medical providers
    • Reviewed our COVID-19 Positive Case in a School Decision Matrix (no recent cases have been linked to eastern peninsula schools.)

    Based on this analysis, information, and that no cases that involve KPBSD schools, Seward and Moose Pass schools will be remain in yellow or medium risk October 8-9, 2020. The medical advisory team is watching this closely, and if positive cases trend sharply upward, or are linked to a school, an updated decision to move to High Risk and 100% Remote Learning could happen immediately, or beginning Monday, October 12, 2020.

    What to know during 100% Remote Learning in COVID-19 High Risk

    • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students, and picked up Wednesday morning for the week
    • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools will contact these families directly.
    • Activities continue with ASAA High Risk Protocols in effect
    • Schools will communicate an update status mid-week to aid parent planning for the following week specific to if school reopens to onsite at school learning on Monday, October 19, 2020

    What you can do

    We urge Alaskans to exercise caution and take the following steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

    • • Do the 3 W’s: Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands
    • • Avoid the 3 C’s: Crowded places, close contact settings and confined or enclosed spaces. Keep contacts limited and social circles small. Avoid indoor gatherings
    • • Don’t ride in cars with people who are not in your household bubble
    • • Limit your errands and outings
    • • Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested even if you have just one symptom or mild symptoms
    • • Don’t be around others if you are not feeling well. Stay home and isolate immediately
    • • If you test positive, let close contacts know so they can protect others
    • • Quarantine quickly if you are exposed to COVID-19, for a full 14 days

    Helpful Links

    “Offering predictability for our families, staff, and communities is tricky during a global pandemic. I am disappointed the positive case count appears to be trending upward. Every day we evaluate 7-Day risk level trends, 14-Day actual positive case counts, and confer with our medical advisory team. To aid planning for families and eliminate a ping-pong effect back and forth between risk levels, when we shift to 100% Remote Learning, it will be in one-week time blocks unless it’s a positive case at a school, which might have a different response or time frame. We will continue providing district level updates every week, plus each school will directly communicate with their staff and families.”

    -Superintendent John O’Brien
    KPBSD Eastern Peninsula schools may shift to 100% Remote Learning 2020-10-07 08:00:00Z 0

    Seward Elementary Shifts to 100% Remote Learning 

     

    September 25, 2020

    Communication to Seward Elementary staff and families. Principal Haskins will send a message via School Messenger on Saturday, September 26, 2020.

    Dear Seward Elementary students, parents, and staff,

    Friday evening September 25, 2020, we learned a second student or staff member at Seward Elementary School has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and as members of the school community, we understand that this raises care and concerns.

    To complete contact tracing and allow for additional cleaning, the entire school will shift to 100% Remote Learning September 28 and 29, 2020.

    Throughout the weekend we will work with public health to assess any interactions in the time period the person was connected with school, and everyone who is determined to be a close contact will be called personally.

    9/25/20, 10:30 PM: The shift to 100% Remote Learning is only for Seward Elementary at this time.

    Two or more positive cases in a school is defined as an outbreak. Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health, and our team.

    We will be in communication with you with further information as it becomes available, and announce late Monday, or Tuesday morning, if we will reopen on Wednesday, or extend the 100% Remote Learning.

    As part of this public health investigation and contact tracing at school, and based on CDC guidance and Alaska DHSS protocols:

    • Everyone diagnosed with COVID-19 is kept home from school until they are no longer infectious.
    • The person’s activities when they could have spread COVID-19 will be assessed.
    • The people who were close contacts of the person with COVID-19 are instructed to stay home from school for 14 days after the exposure. This is called quarantine and there is no way to test out of a 14-day quarantine when someone is identified as a close contact.

    KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so the identity of a student or employee will not be revealed by the school or KPBSD, unless permission is given to do so.

    If you have questions, kindly contact Principal Alan Haskins, or our public health agency at 907-335-3400.

    You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix.

    Seward High School sporting events are cancelled on Saturday, September 26, 2020.

    “Friday evening we learned that Seward Elementary has had more than one confirmed case of COVID-19 within a three day time frame. This is defined as an outbreak in a school, causes a shift to 100% remote learning at Seward Elementary for at least Monday and Tuesday next week, in an effort to ensure thorough contact tracing and cleaning of the school will be conducted. Given the small size of the Seward community and out of an abundance of precaution, this weekend’s sporting events in Seward have been cancelled and Seward teams that were scheduled to travel and compete in away events have been kept home. I know our athletes will be disappointed, and I ask for everyone’s support and understanding.”

    –Superintendent John O’Brien
    Seward Elementary Shifts to 100% Remote Learning  2020-10-01 08:00:00Z 0
    37th Rotary Health Fair 2020-10-01 08:00:00Z 0

    Help Needed: Electronics Recycling on October 3rd

     
    To all Supporters of Kachemak Advocates of Recycling,

    I am pleased to send this information to all of you and hope some of you will volunteer. Please note the instructions given on how to volunteer and who to contact:

    Cook Inletkeeper is hosting our annual Electronics Recycling event and we need your help! The event will take place on Saturday, October 3rd from 10am to 2pm at Spenard Builders Supply in Homer. We need volunteers to help collect donations, direct traffic, sort recyclable electronics, and clean up after the event.
     
    Volunteers can work one of two shifts: 9:30-12:15 or 12-2:30. COVID safe policies will be in place and COVID safe snacks will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering or want more information, please contact Ariel at recycling@inletkeeper.org or (508) 728 -9399.

     
    Americans upgrade their computer systems on average every 3 to 5 years. But what do they do with all those old, obsolete computers? Computer electronics contain hazardous materials, especially lead, cadmium, and mercury, and if dumped in a landfill, will release heavy metals and other toxic materials into the air and water. 
     
    Here at Inletkeeper we envision a future where we recycle metals, instead of creating new mines that endanger world-class fisheries, wildlife and clean water. 
     
    On Saturday, October 3rd, Inletkeeper will be holding our annual electronic recycling day in Homer & Soldotna. Sustainable Seward will be hosting their event on October 10th. This is an opportunity for people who have been storing obsolete or broken electronics to dispose of them properly. Households, businesses and non-profit agencies are encouraged to bring televisions, monitors, computers, laptops, keyboards, phones, cameras and more for recycling.
    Help Needed: Electronics Recycling on October 3rd 2020-09-23 08:00:00Z 0

    KPBSD COVID-19 Positive Case Communications

     KPBSD COVID-19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix Letter Examples

    Dear KPBSD Parents and Guardians,

    This letter will help your family prepare should our school district or your school have a COVID-19 event occur. An event could be a positive COVID-19 case, outbreak (two or more positive cases in a school) or exposure to COVID-19 in a school. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority.

    KPBSD works closely with local public health officials and they will provide support and direction to manage every COVID-19 related scenario that affects our school communities. If or when a COVID-19 event occurs related to your school, you will receive information via the usual school and district communication methods. Depending upon the situation and response needed by you, the contact may come via a phone call, email, alert, or general notification.

    KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so your name and your child’s name will not be revealed by the school, unless you give the school permission to do so. A dedicated webpage at KPBSD.org is where to find the most up to date information.

    If your child receives a positive COVID-19 test result, and they have been at school two days prior to the onset of symptoms, or the testing date that resulted in a positive test result, it will be helpful to begin contact tracing at their school immediately. So, we need your help when you learn of a positive COVID-19 test result for your child. Call Nurse Iris, KPBSD Nursing Supervisor to confidentially report a positive COVID-19 test result. You can reach her at 907.260.2391, IWertz@kpbsd.k12.ak.us. ALternately, call your school nurse or administrator.

    It is important for everyone in our community to protect themselves against the remarkably contagious novel coronavirus. These are some ways to protect your family:

    • Symptom Free School Protocol: keep children who are sick at home -- do not send them to school
    • Teach your children to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and set a good example by doing this yourself
    • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by coughing into the inside of their elbow, Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself
    • Time and distance: teach your children to protect your family bubble or their school cohort, and practice physical distancing of about six feet away from others
    • Mask up with a cloth face covering when appropriate, especially indoors in crowded public places, on the school bus, and in school hallways. Grades 3 and older in the KPBSD wear a mask at school when six foot physical distancing is not possible

    When you have COVID-19 related questions, contact your school nurse, healthcare provider, local public health department, or visit the state DHSS or national CDC websites. You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID-19 Confirmed Casae in School Response Matrix. Your school is always available to help, or you can reach out to the school district COVID-19 line at 907.714.8864, email covid19@kpbsd.org, or visit covid19.kpbsd.org.

    This year will require adaption, a flexible mindset, and we will get through this with both challenges and blessings. We promise to communicate often, be proactive and swiftly reactive when necessary, even when we do not have all the answers. Superintendent John O’Brien reminds us, “We will focus on and provide for the social, emotional, and mental health needs of our students, staff, parents, and community. I have no doubt that together we will not only get through this new school year but will also hopefully become more resilient and empathic to the needs of others.”

    School Exposure Letter Templates

    ScenarioModify letter #Communication To
    1 student or staff with COVID-19 in a class or cohortLetter #1Parents or Guardians of all students in the class or cohort
    Outbreak of COVID-19 in a class or cohortLetter #2Parents or Guardians of all students in the class or cohort
    1 (or more) student or staff with COVID-19 in multiple classes or cohortsLetter #3Parents or Guardians of all students who are determined to be close contacts of a case of COVID-19 in the school
    School outbreakLetter #3

    AND

    Letter #4

    Parents or Guardians of all students who are determined to be close contacts of a case of COVID-19 in the school

    AND

    Parents or Guardians of students who were determined not to be close contacts of cases of COVID-19 in the outbreak

     
     

    Letter 1: Students in the classroom or cohort bubble with a single case of COVID-19

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    This communication is a follow-up to a phone call you have received. A student or staff member in [Teacher's name] class has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and as members of the school community, we understand that this raises care and concerns. Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health. As part of this public health investigation and contact tracing at school, and based on CDC guidance and Alaska DHSS protocols:

    • The person diagnosed is being kept home from school until they are no longer infectious.
    • The person's activities when they could have spread COVID-19 were assessed.
    • The people who were close contacts of the person with COVID-19 are instructed to stay home from school for 14 days after the exposure. This is called quarantine and there is no way to test out of a 14-day quarantine when someone is identified as a close contact.

    Because it is not possible to assess all interactions in a classroom and because of the length of time that classes spend together, all classroom or cohort members are considered close contacts. Your child was in the same class or group as the person diagnosed with COVID-19, so your child must follow quarantine instructions and stay home from school for 14 days. If you have children in other classes, they can still go to school unless their sibling gets sick, or receives a positive COVID-19 test result.

    Your child can return to school and normal activities on [date 14 days after the last day the person with COVID-19 was in the classroom]. During this time, your child should stay home and not go to other schools, activities, childcares, or other activities around other people. Instructions about how to quarantine are available here.

    All KPBSD students have the option of 100% Remote Learning with their school. Your school will work with you to make certain your child has what they need to continue learning at home while in quarantine.

    KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so the identity of a student or employee will not be revealed by the school or KPBSD, unless permission is given to do so.

    If your child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19:

    • Follow these isolation instructions
    • Have your child tested
    • Continue to keep your child home from school and avoid other activities around other people
    • Notify the school principal, nurse, or KPBSD Nurse Iris
    • Seek medical care and testing for COVID-19, calling your doctor before you show up

    Public Health may recommend or you may choose to have your child tested for COVID-19 a week after they were around the person with COVID-19, even if your child does not have symptoms. A negative test result does not mean that your child will not develop symptoms or become sick after the test. A negative test result means that your child did not have COVID-19 detected at the time of testing. A negative test will not allow your child to come back to school or attend other activities sooner. Medical insurance may not cover the cost of testing for people without symptoms.

    If you have questions, kindly contact [insert name of school principal or nurse contact] or our local public health agency [insert contact]. You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix.

    CONTINUED

    KPBSD COVID-19 Positive Case Communications 2020-09-23 08:00:00Z 0

    Alaska DHSS Weekly Covid Summary- September 13-19, 2020

    COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

    Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Case Analysis

    September 13-19, 2020

    Case trends and predictions

    • Overall, new cases in Alaska are increasing. The daily state case rate as of September 19 is 10.2 cases per 100,000 people averaged over the last 14 days, so the state alert level is now high. This is up from 8.7 last week and 7.9 the week before.
    • The reproductive number, a measure of contagion, is currently estimated to be approximately 1. A reproductive number of 1 means that each person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 gives it on average to one other person. A reproductive number of more than 1 means that the epidemic is growing, and the goal is to have enough people wear masks, stay at least 6 feet from others, and stay home and get tested when they are sick that Alaska’s reproductive number decreases to well below 1. Our reproductive number was below 1 as recently as late August. 
    • An updated model epidemic curve predicts Alaska’s cases will continue to rise over the next week. Until two weeks ago, cases had been predicted to decrease. One week ago, cases were now expected to double every 62 days, with a daily projected growth rate of 1.12%. This projection has improved slightly, with cases now expected to double around every 190 days, with a daily projected growth rate of 0.37%.  
    • Nonresident cases, which peaked in late July, decreased over August and continue to downtrend. 
    • Data for COVID-19 in Alaska healthcare workers are now available, although limited as not all cases have an occupation reported. About half of the 260 cases reported in healthcare workers may have been acquired at work; others were related to travel, household or community exposure. 8 hospitalizations among healthcare workers are reported and no deaths.  

    • Alaska continues to have both the fewest COVID-19 related deaths and the fewest COVID-19 related deaths per capita of any US state.

    Regional trends

    • Juneau City and Borough now has the highest rate of viral transmission, having increased its rate to 16.3, continuing the rise from 13.4 last week and 6.3 the week before.
    • Fairbanks North Star Borough has the second highest rate of viral transmission with a case rate of 15.9, a slight decrease from 17.1 the week before. 
    • The Northwest Region had the steepest increase this week among communities with high transmission, with a rate now at 15.6 from 10.7 the previous week. 
    • Anchorage Municipality remains in the high transmission category and has again improved slightly from last week. 
    • The Y-K Delta region increased from 6.0 to 8.4, remaining within the intermediate zone.
    • The Interior Region, Mat-Su and Northern Southeast Region also saw increases this week. 
    • Other regions’ case rates downtrended this week.

    Regional case trends

    Behavioral Health Region

    Average new cases Aug 16 - 29

    Average new cases Aug 23- Sept 5

    Average new cases  Aug 30- Sept 12

    Average new cases Sept 5- Sept 19

    Anchorage Municipality

    12.6

    14.1

    13.5

    13.2

    Fairbanks North Star Borough

    10.8

    13.7

    17.1

    15.9

    Interior Region except Fairbanks North Star Borough

    7.9

    4.3

    2.7

    3.1

    Juneau City and Borough

    5.1

    6.3

    13.4

    16.3

    Kenai Peninsula Borough

    5.8

    2.9

    2.2

    1.8

    Matanuska-Susitna Region

    6.2

    4.9

    4.3

    4.7

    Northern Southeast Region

    6.3

    5.2

    2.1

    3.1

    Northwest Region

    12.7

    11.0

    10.7

    15.6

    Southern Southeast Region

    6.1

    5.2

    2.5

    Insufficient data; low case rate

    Southwest Region

    1.7

    2.3

    4.2

    3.5

    Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region

    7.3

    7.6

    6.0 

    8.4

    Statewide

    7.0

    7.9

    8.7

    10.2

     New cases, hospitalizations and deaths

    • This week saw 558 new cases in Alaskans, an increase from last week’s 513 new cases, for a total of 6,836 cumulative cases in Alaskans. 4,610 of those are considered active, or 67%, an increase from 65% last week, as 2,226 Alaskans are thought to have recovered or completed their isolation period. Data on recovery lags data on new cases and may not be up to date. 
    • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 262 with 16 new this week, slightly more than the increase of 14 last week.
    • Deaths among Alaska residents increased by 1 to 45 total. 
    • There were 16 nonresident cases identified this week, for a total of 931.  

    How COVID-19 spreads in Alaska

    • The majority of new infections among Alaskans are from community spread, not from travel. Most Alaskans get the virus from someone they work, socialize, or go to school with.
    • Many cases do not have a clear source, meaning that contact tracers have not been able to identify where the person got the virus. This could mean that there are cases in our communities that we do not know about. 
    • Many Alaskans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 report that they went to social gatherings, community events, church services and other social venues while they were contagious but before they knew they had the virus.
    • The distribution of cases among people of different races and ethnicities has not changed significantly since last week.
    • Cases continue to increase most rapidly in young adult Alaskans, especially those aged 20-29. 

     

      Alaska DHSS Weekly Covid Summary- September 13-19, 2020 2020-09-23 08:00:00Z 0

      Reporting COVID Deaths

      Behind every one of these statistics is an individual. We're saddened by every death and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of these individuals who died. 

      DHSS is aware that the topic of how COVID-19 deaths are counted generates a great deal of interest. This webpage should answer some of your questions.

      Current process

      There are two avenues for the public reporting of COVID-19 deaths in Alaska.

       

      By health care facilities

      The first is from reporting by health care facilities. Because COVID-19 is a reportable infectious condition, hospitals report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Division of Public Health’s Section of Epidemiology. Later, if those hospitalized patients pass away, those deaths are also reported. 

      The benefit of this method is real time reporting. The state has the ability to report the death within days of the death occurring. However, this method may not capture deaths because of the time lag associated with COVID patients who may remain hospitalized for a longer period of time, have a more complex disease and death process, or died outside of Alaska. Further, this more real-time method means that deaths have not yet undergone review by CDC.

      Through death certificates

      The second process is through death certificates and their review by CDC. Every death in the state, and of out of state Alaska residents, results in the production of a death record. A death record contains the who, what, when, and where of a death. The cause of death section of a death record provides the ‘why’. A death record is registered by the Division of Public Health’s section of Health Analytics and Vital Records (HAVRS). The cause of death language is de-identified and forwarded to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). There the cause of death language is coded by nosologists (professional trained to classify disease) using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) medical classification. Once coded, the data are sent back to HAVRS. These data essentially serve as the final cause of death description.

      The benefit of reporting deaths that moved though the NCHS process is these data represent the most accurate death counts. The cause of death statements have undergone review and have been coded - coded as U07.1. However, a death certificate takes an average of 9 days from the death to be registered by the state. This is before the NCHS review. The disadvantage is a delay of one to three weeks for data review and return to the state. The data lag means NCHS provisional death counts may not reflect all deaths reported by the State during a given time period, especially for more recent periods.

      Data corrections

      Finally, data corrections may change death counts. On occasion a death record needs a correction that may change the death counts. An example might be the original death record had an incorrect state of residence. Generally, upon discovery, corrections are handled by a state’s vital records office and the updated data are provided to NCHS if necessary.

      The Death Certificate process

      The federal government has worked with states to collect and standardize death reporting since the early 1900s. Cause of death and a decedent’s demographics are first recorded onto a death record. Death records are administered by the vital records program in the state where the death occurred. A death record is first filled out by a funeral director; the cause of death section is provided by a medical professional; and final registration is completed by a state’s vital records office.

      CDC considers “Cause of Death” to be a best medical opinion. CDC wants the cause of death to come from medical professionals.

      People can die from more than one cause. CDC reporting conventions allow a death certificates to capture the many conditions that contribute to a person’s death. The Cause of Death section on a death certificate has two parts:

      • Part I is the chain of events –the diseases, injuries, or conditions that directly cause the death. There are four lines available, ‘a’ through ‘d’.

        • Line ‘a’ is reserved for the immediate cause of death. The immediate cause of death is the final disease or condition that resulted in death. 

        • Line ‘b’ (and ‘c’ if necessary) are reserved for intermediate causes of death. The medical professional outlines the logical sequence of causes, or etiology that leads from the underlying cause of death to the immediate cause of death. Sometimes, there is no intermediate cause of death.

        • The last line available is reserved for the underlying cause of death. This is the disease or injury that initiates the chain of events leading to the immediate cause of death.

      • Part II is where a medical professional may enter any medical conditions that contributed or exacerbated, but did not cause, the death.

      Note that for a death by a virus, if the symptomology and circumstances are compelling, and the medical professional is convinced a specific virus caused the death, NCHS will accept a cause of death certification without laboratory confirmation. Again, CDC is looking for a medical opinion. CDC does, however, encourage confirmation of viral deaths with testing.

      After a death record has been certified, the cause of death section is forwarded to CDC’s NCHS. NCHS nosologists review the data, determines its accuracy, electronically and manually code the deaths using ICD-10 classification, and report back the final and coded cause of death to the states. Nosology is a branch of medicine that deals with classification of disease. To become competent takes many years of training. This process has in place since the 1980s for all causes of death.

      Dying from a condition versus dying with a condition

      In the semantics of health researchers, dying from something means a condition is the underlying or contributing cause.

      Consider the case in the example above. The immediate cause of death is a rupture of the myocardium, preceded by an intermediate cause acute myocardial infarction, preceded by an intermediate cause of coronary artery thrombosis, preceded by an underlying cause of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. If a researcher were asked the cause of death for this individual, they would be correct to say either a rupture of the myocardium, a heart attack, a blocked artery, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries. If a researcher were performing a study on heart disease, this case would be counted. If a researcher were making an annual count of deaths from hardening and narrowing of the arteries in general, again this case would be included. On the other hand, if the researcher was developing a year-end report of leading causes of death, they would just report the underlying cause.

      If a decedent had listed an immediate cause of death of stroke, that was a complication from an intermediate cause of blunt force trauma to the head, which had the underlying cause of a vehicle crash; a researcher would be correct in saying this individual died from a stroke, a head injury, or a car crash. Stroke and the head injury would be considered contributing causes associated with the underlying cause of a car crash.

      On the other hand, if an individual died in a car crash also happen to test positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 would not be listed on the death certificate and the death would not be considered a COVID-19 death. This would be a case of dying with a disease. In this case, the death certificate would only list the sequence of conditions associated with the vehicle crash.

      All reported Alaska resident COVID-19 deaths have the virus listed as a condition in Part I or Part II. A death where COVID-19 is listed in Part II might be considered as a contributing cause depending on how CDC nosologists interpret the cause of death provided by the medical professional. Most Alaskan deaths have listed COVID-19 somewhere in the lethal chain of conditions within Part I. However, if Alaska receives the coding of a COVID-19 death from CDC, even from Part II, we will report it.

      Epidemiological significance of reporting COVID deaths

      Whether COVID-19 shortened a life by 15 years or 15 minutes; whether COVID-19 is an underlying or contributing condition, the virus was in circulation, infected an Alaskan, and hastened their death. This must be reported.

      Despite Alaska’s COVID-19 deaths, we should note that Alaska’s per capita death rate from COVID continues to be lower than almost every other state. Alaska’s overall mortality rate is also lower than most other states. According to JAMA, Alaska has had no estimated level of excess deaths during the COVID time period of March 1 2020 to May 30 2020.  This conclusion is echoed in Alaska’s own look at excess mortality. So far, researchers have not found any unexpected increase in death counts or rates relative to recent years.

      Where can I find COVID Death Data?

      You can find counts of COVID-19 deaths on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub: data.coronavirus.alaska.gov.  On the COVID-19 Cases Dashboard, you can find the count of death that can be shown for Alaska residents (including AK residents diagnosed and isolated OOS), non-residents, or for both residents and non-residents diagnosed and isolated in Alaska.  The “Cumulative Deaths” graph on the COVID-19 Cases Dashboard reflects the date when a death was confirmed by the State, not when the death occurred.  “Table 1. Cases by Report Date” of the summary tables also shows a count of deaths; however, this table reflects deaths by the date when the case was confirmed COVID-19 positive, not by the date that the case was reported dead.

      Reporting COVID Deaths 2020-09-17 08:00:00Z 0

      People of Action Around the Globe

      United States

      The Rotary Club of Yakima Sunrise, Washington, has installed nine pianos in public spots where anyone can sit down and tickle the ivories — and the community. Sites include brewpubs, a shopping mall, and a coffee shop, and more installations are planned soon. The Painted Piano Project also provided stipends of $300 to artists who decorated the donated instruments.

      A Heintzman & Co. piano made of crystal was sold at auction for $3.2 million.

      “People stop to listen to the music or take a moment to examine the beautiful artwork,” says Nathan Hull, the club’s immediate past president. “The pianists play everything from Mozart to Van Halen, and that has been a lot of fun.”

      United Kingdom

      To raise funds for End Polio Now, the Rotary Club of Narberth & Whitland is selling Rotary-themed scarves designed by fashion and textiles student Mia Hewitson-Jones with help from graphics student Sam Stables, both enrolled at Pembrokeshire College. The scarves went on sale in 2019 after the club garnered approval from Rotary International for use of the logo. By April of this year, nearly 100 scarves had been sold and another shipment was on the way, says club member John Hughes. “We have sold a few in America and Canada,” adds Hughes. The idea of selling specially designed scarves was conceived by Mary Adams when she was president-elect of the club in 2016.

      Romania

      Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, the Rotaract Club of Cluj-Napoca “SAMVS” adapted an online mental health campaign on the club’s social media accounts, encouraging people to engage in satisfying activities, such as art. The social media campaign focused on “how to make the best of your #stayhome experience,” says club member Loana Vultur. More than 3,000 people have viewed the club’s posts on Facebook and Instagram. “No money was necessary,” Vultur says. “Our resources were our minds, creativity, and the will to help. In Romania we have the expression, ‘Make heaven from what you have.’”

      Image courtesy of Namaste Direct

      Guatemala

      More than 100 Guatemalan women have been helped financially by the Interact Club of Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California; its sponsoring Rotary Club of San Mateo; and the nonprofit group Namaste Direct. Over the years, about 100 Hillsdale Interactors have joined chaperone Rotarians and teachers on trips to Antigua, a city in Guatemala’s central highlands, to meet the women who have received grants funded through student-led fundraising events including “penny war” collections and taco dinners.

      Nearly half of all Guatemalans live on less than $5.50 a day.

      The site visits are eye-openers for the students, who see how microloans, financial literacy workshops, and mentorship have empowered the women, says Namaste Direct’s founder and chief executive, Robert Graham. He cites Namaste’s policy of charging lower interest rates than many other nongovernmental organizations (loans range from a few hundred dollars to $4,000), its adherence to Western consulting methodologies, and Rotary involvement as major reasons for the program’s success. “Many women have corner convenience stores, while others purchase clothing and household goods in bulk for resale at the local market,” Graham says. Other beneficiaries include a nut vendor, a chicken butcher, and a chocolatier.

      India

      In the Rotary Club of Vapi’s first 20 years, club members oversaw the establishment of a school, a hospital, and a college. “Our club created an entire town worth residing in,” says Ketan Patel. In 2011, seeking a way to honor the RI presidency of club member Kalyan Banerjee, the Rotarians embarked on a project to provide free kidney dialysis that continues to this day. Nearly 3,800 patients have received more than 32,000 procedures. “The entire treatment is free of charge,” says Patel. The cost of the dialysis project is covered by Rotarian and community contributions, along with club fundraising.

      — BRAD WEBBER

      • This story originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.

      People of Action Around the Globe 2020-09-16 08:00:00Z 0

      CARES Act Funding Used to Support Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Efforts

      Alaska DHSS signup page

      DHSS Press Release: CARES Act funding used to support mental health and suicide prevention efforts

      Alaska DHSS sent this bulletin at 09/10/2020 02:44 PM AKDT

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Contact:  Clinton Bennett, DHSS, 907-269-4996, clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

      CARES Act funding used to support mental health and suicide prevention efforts

      Sept. 10, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will distribute $750,000 of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and address associated risk factors for suicide. The funds will provide direct support to Alaska’s communities and behavioral health providers as they respond to increased mental health needs that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      “We have not seen a significant increase in suicide rates so far this year, but we know that suicide is a leading cause of death for young people in Alaska and our annual suicide rate continues to be much higher than the national rate,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “I thank Governor Dunleavy for his support in approving our use of CARES Act funding to help address risk factors for suicide so that Alaska families won’t have to bear the burden of the loss of their loved ones.”

      Through the end of this year, the following strategies will be implemented in response to the mental health challenges Alaskans are facing as a result of the pandemic:

      • Providing funding in each region of the state to prevent suicide, substance misuse and mental health stigma associated with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will support local strategies, assuring familiarity with the needs unique to each region.
      • Expanding access to the statewide crisis call center which will include targeted efforts to engage youth and young adults, and connect them with local resources.
      • Training behavioral health providers on evidence-based, culturally relevant approaches to treating individuals at risk for suicide.
      • Facilitating postvention community planning and training to support healing after a suicide and prevent further suicides in the affected community. This strategy focuses on developing a community response plan with people from a variety of disciplines – such as police officers, teachers, tribes, journalists, social workers, faith communities and behavioral health providers – using best practices so no one inadvertently increases the likelihood of someone else taking their life. Each community develops a plan that is specific to the needs and resources within their own communities or regions.

      “We recognized the need for more support to individuals and communities given Alaska’s long-standing struggle with high rates of suicide, which is being compounded by additional stressors from the pandemic,” said Division of Behavioral Health Director Gennifer Moreau said. “But we also know Alaskans are resilient and that if we support one another, these strategies can provide the help we all need to get through this together.”

      The week of Sept. 6-12, 2020 is National Suicide Prevention Week which occurs each year during National Suicide Prevention Month. All year long, including the month of September, DHSS and Governor Dunleavy are committed to taking actions to improve the lives of Alaskans during these difficult times.

      # # #

      CARES Act Funding Used to Support Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Efforts 2020-09-16 08:00:00Z 0

      Week of September 8th -- Information From KPBSD

      link: COVID-19 in KPBSD Web Hub

      Dear KPBSD Parents and Guardians,

      This letter will help your family prepare should our school district or your school have a COVID-19 event occur. An event could be a positive COVID-19 case, outbreak (two or more positive cases in a school) or exposure to COVID-19 in a school. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority.

      KPBSD works closely with local public health officials and they will provide support and direction to manage every COVID-19 related scenario that affects our school communities. If or when a COVID-19 event occurs related to your school, you will receive information via the usual school and district communication methods. Depending upon the situation and response needed by you, the contact may come via a phone call, email, alert, or general notification.

      KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so your name and your child’s name will not be revealed by the school, unless you give the school permission to do so. A dedicated webpage at KPBSD.org is where to find the most up to date information.

      If your child receives a positive COVID-19 test result, and they have been at school two days prior to the onset of symptoms, or the testing date that resulted in a positive test result, it will be helpful to begin contact tracing at their school immediately. So, we need your help when you learn of a positive COVID-19 test result for your child. Call Nurse Iris, KPBSD Nursing Supervisor to confidentially report a positive COVID-19 test result. You can reach her at 907-260-2391, iwertz@kpbsd.k12.ak.us. Alternately, call your school nurse or administrator.

      It is important for everyone in our community to protect themselves against the remarkably contagious novel coronavirus. These are some ways to protect your family:
       

      • Symptom Free School Protocol: keep children who are sick at home—do not send them to school
         
      • Teach your children to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and set a good example by doing this yourself
         
      • Teach children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by coughing into the inside of their elbow, Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself
         
      • Time and distance: teach your children to protect your family bubble or their school cohort, and practice physical distancing of about six feet away from others
         
      • Mask up with a cloth face covering when appropriate, especially indoors in crowded public places, on the school bus, and in school hallways. Grades 3 and older in the KPBSD wear a mask at school when six foot physical distancing is not possible

      When you have COVID-19 related questions, contact your school nurse, healthcare provider, local public health department, or visit the state DHSS or national CDC websites. You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix. Your school is always available to help, or you can reach out to the school district COVID-19 line at 907-714-8864, email covid19@kpbsd.org, or visit covid19.kpbsd.org.

      This year will require adaption, a flexible mindset, and we will get through this with both challenges and blessings. We promise to communicate often, be proactive and swiftly reactive when necessary, even when we do not have all the answers. Superintendent John O’Brien reminds us, “We will focus on and provide for the social, emotional, and mental health needs of our students, staff, parents, and community. I have no doubt that together we will not only get through this new school year but will also hopefully become more resilient and empathetic to the needs of others.”

       

       

       

      Tuesday, September 8, 2020, schools throughout the central peninsula* will open to welcome students to onsite, at school learning!
      The COVID-19 risk levels have dropped in the central peninsula area, so after evaluating 14 day positive COVID-19 case counts, 7 day trends, consultation with the KPBSD COVID-19 Medical Risk Level Advisory Team and Public Health, everyone can plan for schools* to open!

      School Start and End Times

       

       

      Visit the new KPBSD COVID-19 risk level dashboard with daily updates.

      *Central Peninsula Schools will open on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, to onsite at school learning. The 100% Remote Learning option also continues.

      Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities

      • Aurora Borealis Charter School
      • Kaleidoscope Charter School
      • K-Beach Elementary School
      • Kenai Alternative School
      • Kenai Central High School
      • Kenai Middle School
      • Mountain View Elementary School
      • Nikiski Middle-High School
      • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
      • Redoubt Elementary School
      • River City Academy
      • Skyview Middle School
      • Soldotna Elementary School
      • Soldotna High School
      • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
      • Sterling Elementary School
      • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

      Calendar change: the two Early Release days for students in September and October are cancelled.

      Week of September 8th -- Information From KPBSD 2020-09-09 08:00:00Z 0


      The Rotarian Conversation: Vivek Murthy

       
      Loneliness — the absence of human connection — is twice as prevalent as diabetes in the United States. A former surgeon general tells us what we can do about it
       
      Vivek Murthy grew up helping out in his parents’ medical practice, filing charts and cleaning the office as he watched the way they built connections with their patients by taking the time to listen to what they had to say.
       
      When he became America’s top doctor — the 19th U.S. surgeon general, a position he held from 2014 to 2017 — he went on a listening tour himself. Some of the problems people told him about were things he anticipated: opioids and obesity, diabetes and heart disease. He also talked to Elmo of Sesame Street about vaccines and called for addiction to be recognized as the health problem it is rather than a moral failing.
      But one unexpected topic became a recurring theme: loneliness, which “ran like a dark thread through many of the more obvious issues that people brought to my attention,” Murthy writes in his new book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.
       
      A 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 22 percent of American adults say they often or always feel lonely — that’s 55 million people, twice the number that are diagnosed with diabetes. Australia pegs its problems with loneliness at around 25 percent of its adult population. The United Kingdom has a similar figure. And other countries in Europe and Asia are struggling with double-digit percentages. “My guess is that most of these survey numbers are underestimated, because most people still don’t feel comfortable admitting that they are lonely — whether that’s to an anonymous person administering a survey or even to themselves,” Murthy said in an interview with The Rotarian.
       
      Before becoming one of the country’s youngest surgeons general at age 37, overseeing 6,600 public health officers in more than 800 locations, Murthy partnered with Rotary clubs and other service organizations in India to set up community events for an HIV/AIDS education program that he co-founded with his sister, Rashmi. He also co-founded the nonprofit Doctors for America and the software technology company TrialNetworks.
       
      Murthy spoke with senior staff writer Diana Schoberg by phone in April from Miami, where he was staying during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      THE ROTARIAN: Hypothetically speaking, is a Tibetan monk in seclusion lonely?
       
      VIVEK MURTHY: Loneliness is a subjective state — it’s not determined by the number of people around you, but by how you feel about the connections in your life. People who are surrounded by hundreds of others, whether they are students on a college campus or workers in a busy office, may be lonely if they don’t feel those are people with whom they can fully be themselves. Others who may have only a few people around them may not feel lonely at all if they feel good about those relationships and good about themselves.
       
      For a monk to exist in complete isolation and not feel lonely, he would have developed a very deep spiritual practice and built a strong connection to God and the divine. 
       
      “Service shifts our attention from ourselves to other people.”
       
      TR: In your book, you describe someone who found his purpose and connection in the military. How can we find that sort of team environment?
       
      MURTHY: People who have served in the Peace Corps together can often experience similar bonds. People also have that deep shared experience in times of natural disasters — not just the shared pain and trauma of a disaster, but also the shared joy and inspiration of the response to that trauma. People who have been a part of an organization where they have a deep sense of mission and where they’ve sacrificed together for the cause can also experience the bond. 
       
      How do we create more opportunities for experiences like that? Part of that has to do with how we prioritize social connections as we get older. To many people, it seems almost like an indulgence to prioritize their relationships. They have responsibilities to their families, their kids, and their work, and it’s a question of where relationships fit in.
       
      TR: What role can Rotary play?
       
      MURTHY: What is powerful about organizations like Rotary is that they are rooted in service. Service shifts our attention from ourselves, where it increasingly is focused when we feel lonely, to other people and in the context of a positive interaction. Service reaffirms that we have value to add to the world. One of the consequences of loneliness when it’s long-lasting is that it can chip away at our self-esteem and lead us to start believing that the reason we’re lonely is that we’re somehow not likable. Service short-circuits that. 
       
      Right now, people want to help. What they don’t know is where to go to actually do something meaningful. Organizations can provide those opportunities. That can be extraordinarily powerful. When I started doing community work, one of the principles I was taught is that people come to the table for the mission, but they stay at the table for the people. It’s hard to sustain even the worthiest mission without building a strong sense of connection between the people who are participating. 
       
      TR: What can we build into our clubs to foster that sense of belonging?
       
      MURTHY: Shared experience, shared mission, and the opportunity to understand each other more deeply create deeper connections. We’ve touched a little bit on the shared experience and shared mission part. But the opportunity to understand each other more deeply is something you can facilitate with a little bit of structure. 
       
      When I was the surgeon general, we did an exercise called “Inside Scoop.” That turned out to be far more effective than the happy hours and group picnics that we had been doing before. At each weekly staff meeting, one person would show pictures to share something about their lives. It was so useful because it didn’t take much time at all — five minutes during a meeting. But it created an atmosphere where it was OK to share and it was OK to bring some part of yourself that was not work-related to the table. And that ended up being the key to helping people understand each other and learn about each other.
       
      TR: How can technology help us connect in a healthy way? 
       
      MURTHY: Despite all of the tools we have for staying in touch with each other, technology is a double-edged sword. Just as it can be used for strengthening our connections, it can contribute to their deterioration.
      When you use technology to strengthen social connections, it can happen in a few ways. For example, you can connect with people you might otherwise not be able to connect with. When I was younger, the only affordable way we had to connect with my grandparents or cousins in India was to write them a letter, which took two weeks to get there, and a response would take two weeks to come back. Now, we can talk much more frequently because we can videoconference with them at next to no charge. That is a great example of how to use technology for the better.
      Another example would be when we use online platforms as a bridge to offline connections. So if I’m coming to Milwaukee for a talk, I can post that on Facebook. And if that helps my friends get in touch with me and meet up, that’s a great way to facilitate in-person connection.
       
      “Loneliness is a natural signal that our body gives us when we’re lacking something that we need for survival.”
       
      TR: Is there anything we’re learning because of COVID-19 about communication that will help us as we go back to being in-person communicators?
       
      MURTHY: For many of us, the absence of physical contact with other people has made it all the more clear how essential in-person interaction is. And how there really isn’t a full substitute for it. We can get close with things like videoconferencing, but it’s just not the same. 
      Also, it’s become more apparent that it’s not just your family and friends that make a difference as to how connected you feel; it’s the interactions that you have with neighbors and community members and strangers. There’s something powerful in receiving a smile from someone. Those moments have a significant effect on lifting our mood.
       
      TR: Is loneliness something that can be diagnosed? Is it medically recognized?
       
      MURTHY: Loneliness can be assessed; the UCLA Loneliness Scale is one example. But it’s not the kind of condition that we currently would diagnose as an illness, per se. Loneliness is a universal condition that people experience for varying periods in their life. It’s a natural signal that our body gives us when we’re lacking something that we need for survival, which is social connection. In that sense, it’s very similar to hunger or thirst. Our social connections are just as vital to our survival as food or water. If we feel lonely in the absence of adequate social connections for a short time, we can use that signal to reach out and spend more time with a friend. But when loneliness lasts a long time, we start to run into trouble with it affecting our mood and having a long-term effect on our physical health. 
       
      Doctors and nurses should be aware of loneliness, because it’s likely present in the lives of many of the patients that they care for and likely having an impact on the health outcomes that they’re trying to address. But we should be cautious about making people think that loneliness is an illness. There is already a fair amount of stigma about loneliness that makes people feel that if they’re lonely, they’re socially deficient in some way. Not everyone who is lonely is broken. Nor do we need a new medication or medical device to solve the problem of loneliness. I think what we need is to re-center ourselves and refocus our lives on relationships. 
       
      TR: Because of the coronavirus, people are staying home for the good of all people — not necessarily for themselves, but so they don’t pass the virus to vulnerable populations. Why doesn’t that message translate for vaccines?
       
      MURTHY: It’s a fascinating and disturbing phenomenon. There were times when people were more accepting of the need to vaccinate in order to protect not only their own kids, but also other kids. What has happened over time is that misinformation has proliferated. Some of it has been based on erroneous studies. Some of it has capitalized on fears that parents had about their children developing conditions like autism around the same time they were getting vaccines, even though the two aren’t related. It is emotionally charged — we’re talking about people’s children here. 
      When a threat is new, people tend to come together because there is an immediate danger and they’ve got to figure out how to save themselves. But the longer that threat continues, the more likely you are to get misinformation, especially if the effort to contain the threat is painful. And in the case of COVID-19, it is painful.
       
      While the response to COVID-19 and the resistance to vaccines feel very different, there are similar risks. All of us want this to end as quickly as possible, and if a source that we trust starts to tell us that this is a hoax or there’s an easy way out, some people are going to believe that. Not because they’re bad people or uneducated, but because in the face of continued pain, all of our minds will look for a way out. 
       
      TR: What are the best responses to someone who refuses to vaccinate their children?
       
      MURTHY: We have to understand what’s driving people’s concerns. Is it because of a personal experience? Is it because someone that they trust had a bad experience? One of the worst ways you can deal with misinformation is to shut other people down and to make them feel that they’re ill-informed or that you don’t respect them.
       
      The second thing that’s important is to be vulnerable and open to sharing your own story. If you have a child and struggled with a similar decision, or if you felt the pain of seeing your child being poked with a needle, it’s important to share that. It’s easier for two people who share a human experience to talk about a complicated issue than for two strangers to do that. 
       
      Beyond vaccines, I’m thinking about political polarization in our country and in the world. We have lost so much of the power of our connection with each other. We’ve allowed our relationships to be edged out and deprioritized — not just with family and friends, but also with our neighbors and community members. As a result, it’s become harder for us to talk about difficult issues like health care, climate change, or any number of big issues that we’re facing as a society. If we can’t engage in healthy dialogue, we can’t solve big problems.
       
      • Rotary Action Groups connect Rotary members and friends who want to work together toward a shared mission such as water or the environment. Find out more at rotary.org/actiongroups.
       
      • Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
       
      • This story originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      The Rotarian Conversation: Vivek Murthy 2020-09-09 08:00:00Z 0

      What It’s Like to Survive Through Two Pandemics

      By Illustrations by 

      Sixty-five years ago, in 1955, I was diagnosed with polio. I was two years old, so I was unaware of what it meant to have been infected with the poliovirus, but I became more aware of it in subtle ways as I got older. And at some point, I understood what my mother meant when she said I was “one of the lucky ones.”

      My mother came from Jersey City, New Jersey, and she sounded like it all her life, aided and abetted by a daily regimen of unfiltered Kool cigarettes. She drove a supply truck as a civilian during World War II and delighted in telling a tale about a GI who tried to “get fresh” with her when she gave him a lift back to the base. When she told him she was married and her husband was deployed overseas, he said, “Baby, what’re you saving it for — the worms?”

      She stopped the truck and told him, “Ride in back, buster!” I have no doubt that she used an expletive, although she never employed one in the retelling, Jersey accent notwithstanding. But she still thought “saving it for the worms” was the funniest line she had ever heard. She was a woman who could take things in stride, the quintessential “tough cookie.”

      But there was one recollection that could unravel my mother like no other — the one that involved her youngest son being diagnosed with polio and the palpable fear that stalked parents across the country during the summers of the early 1950s. She could not stop her voice from cracking when she spoke about that time. That, along with her warnings about staying out of “polio puddles” after it rained, shaped my awareness of how frightening the epidemic had been.

      Among my childhood memories, getting the oral polio vaccine is as vivid as the classroom drills that taught us to seek safety under our desks in case of a nuclear attack. While I can now joke about how sturdy school desks must have been back then, there’s no amusement in my recollection of lining up outside the local firehouse for the Sabin sugar cube — that was serious, important business. I knew it then, and I know it now.

      My appreciation for having survived polio faded away over time, but returned in force about 12 years ago when I began writing for Rotary magazine. I had assumed polio had been eradicated — or, more accurately, I didn’t think about it. I have since had the opportunity to get to know, and be awed by, some of the Rotarian volunteers who are working to achieve that goal.

      One of the lucky ones

      Now, as the novel coronavirus makes its way across the world, I feel a renewed gratitude for what it means to be one of the lucky ones — and a deeper understanding of how terrifying life was for many people six decades ago. As a 67-year-old former smoker, I’m among those now considered vulnerable — I have two adult children to keep reminding me of that — but I’m also among the privileged. My wife and I are able to work from home, we live in a single-family house with creature comforts, and we can afford to practice social distancing with little sacrifice.

      Although adults were not immune to polio — President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously contracted the disease at age 39 — most of its victims were young children. Today, COVID-19 appears to pose the most danger to people over 60 — that is, the same group that polio targeted 65 years ago. “There was a high level of fear in the country then, very similar to what we have now,” says Cort Vaughan, who is one of those volunteers I’m awed by. When we spoke in April, Vaughan and his wife, Tonya, had recently returned from participating in a polio vaccination campaign in India.

      A member of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, Oregon, and a past End Polio Now coordinator, Vaughan began his work on the polio front before he was even aware of it: He was a March of Dimes poster child in Riverside, California, when he was three years old. He still has a copy of an article from a local newspaper with a photo of him dressed as a cowboy guarding the spare change that people contributed during a fundraising drive in 1955.

      Vaughan doesn’t remember contracting polio at age two in October 1954, but, he says, “I have clear memories of my parents relating stories about it, and I could feel the emotion in their voices about what they went through. For my mother, it was like she was reliving the fear and anxiety of having her child stricken with a potentially deadly disease. Their stories were so vivid, so palpable, they almost became my own memories.”

      The darkest story starts with his mother discovering one morning that her toddler was suddenly unable to walk, calling the doctor, and rushing him to the hospital. “If you had to go to the hospital, there was a high probability of being crippled for life,” Vaughan says. “Once my parents took me there, it was out of their hands.” At that time, polio wards restricted visitors, and Vaughan’s mother was desperate to be with him. “She discovered a women’s group that was sending volunteers to hospitals. She joined the Junior League primarily to get to see me.”

      Vaughan’s illness paralyzed his right leg from the knee down, requiring him to wear a brace and sentencing him to a childhood in which frequent trips to the hospital for physical therapy replaced playing outdoors with friends. “I didn’t feel lucky then, but looking back, now I do,” he says. He also believes that the knowledge that comes from living with the scars of polio has heightened his grasp of what is required to overcome the current pandemic. “I know what it’s like to face a hidden threat, and I understand the need for people to stay vigilant and work together to prevent the spread,” he says. “I was defending the stay-at-home order in Oregon early on, when friends and relatives were thinking it was not really serious.”

      Breaking the silence around polio

      If the term “tough cookie” ever makes it back into common parlance, Carol Ferguson could be its poster adult. It wasn’t until her late 40s that she realized the pain and muscle weakness she was experiencing were post-polio syndrome linked to contracting the virus four decades earlier. Six years ago, Ferguson enlisted the help of three other polio survivors and five friends to launch the Pennsylvania Polio Survivors Network, a volunteer advocacy organization that shares people’s stories, provides information about post-polio syndrome, and lobbies legislators to increase awareness of polio and of the need to prevent infectious diseases through immunization.

      Ferguson, a member of the Rotary Club of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and District 7430 PolioPlus subcommittee chair, says the stories she began hearing at the start of the first wave of COVID-19 bear an eerie resemblance to those her fellow polio survivors tell: a girl hospitalized at age five who remembers weekly visits from her parents during which she could only wave to them through a window; a two-year-old boy who was turned away from a hospital because no beds were available.

      Ferguson’s own story is revealing for what her parents didn’t tell her. “When I was two years old, I had the ‘summer grippe,’ which we now know to be polio,” she says. “Ten years later, a doctor examined me and said I had a ‘polio foot.’ That was the only time that word was mentioned. My mother lived to be 92, but she didn’t speak about polio until shortly before she died. My father died having never spoken the word. I realize now that this is a reflection of the fear that they felt.”

      Ferguson feels no such need for silence. Earlier this year, she spearheaded an initiative, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition and local Rotary clubs, to produce a vaccination information and resource card to distribute to new parents in the state.

      When Jonas Salk announced the success of his historic vaccine trial in April 1955, there was widespread acceptance of the need for mass immunizations. At some point in the future, a modern-day Salk or Albert Sabin will emerge to announce a vaccine to control the spread of COVID-19. But it’s anyone’s guess how widely accepted that vaccine will be.

      Although we now have the benefit of communications technology that people in the 1950s could hardly imagine, that technology can also allow misinformation — and disinformation — to spread as rapidly as a virus itself. Ferguson is hopeful that credible and accurate information about vaccines will prevail. Oh, do I hope she’s right.

      • This story originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

      • Paul Engleman is a polio survivor and a frequent contributor to Rotary magazine.

      What It’s Like to Survive Through Two Pandemics 2020-09-02 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, August 23rd Through Saturday, August 29th, 2020

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

      This Data Summary Covers COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, August 23rd Through Saturday, August 29th, 2020.

      Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be composed every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the AK DHSS Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

      Highlights

      • We continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in Alaska. 

      • The majority of new infections among Alaskans are from community spread, not from travel, meaning that most Alaskans get the virus from someone they work, socialize, or go to school with.

      • Many Alaskans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 report that they went to social gatherings, community events, church services and other social venues while they were contagious but before they knew they had the virus.

      • Cases disproportionately affect Alaska Native People and that proportion is rising; Alaskans who identify as Black or Pacific Islander are also disproportionately impacted although the numbers of people affected in these populations are smaller, making it more difficult to judge whether these differences will be statistically significant

      • Many cases are still under investigation and race is not yet known.

      • Hospital occupancy statewide remained between around 50% and 60% this week, however this number includes beds in smaller hospitals that do not usually accept patients transferred from larger communities.

      • Alaskans should avoid gatherings, wear masks when around any non-household member, keep six feet of distance from anyone not in their household and wash hands frequently to slow community transmission of COVID-19.

      New cases

      This week saw 491 new cases in Alaskans and 21 in nonresidents, for a total of 5,226 and 860 respectively. Several cases previously classified as resident cases have since been reclassified as nonresident cases after further investigation took place. 18 additional Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 215 since the epidemic began. Five additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 37. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus.  

      Cases occurring in schools

      As school starts around Alaska, several cases have been identified in conjunction with schools or school sports, including several cases identified in Matanuska-Susitna Borough schools, one case identified in a high school football player in Fairbanks North Star Borough, and several cases identified in conjunction with the UAF hockey team. 

      The divisions of Public Health and Epidemiology are working closely with school districts to respond to cases in school, conduct contact tracing, investigate whether there has been any spread within schools and determine when it is reasonable to reopen.  

      Epidemic curve

      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

      Currently, cases are predicted to halve about every 75 days based on the current case trend, a slight improvement from last week, when cases were predicted to halve every 90 days. Keeping the case trend prediction downsloping will depend on a continued effort among Alaskans to slow the spread of transmission through physical distancing, masks and limiting contacts. 

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      • Anchorage (269), Chugiak (1), Eagle River (6), for a total of 276 in the Anchorage Municipality
      • Bethel (4) and smaller communities in the Bethel Census Area (16) for a total of 20
      • Fairbanks (71), North Pole (6) and one in a smaller community, for a total of 78 in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
      • Juneau (11)
      • Kenai (4), Homer (1), Soldotna (5) and one in a smaller community, for a total of 11 in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
      • Ketchikan (4)
      • Wasilla (26), Palmer (9), Sutton-Alpine (2) and 1 in Willow for 38 in the Mat-Su Borough
      • Nome (2) and 6 in a smaller community or communities, for a total of 8 in the Nome Census Area
      • Utquiagvik (9) and one in a smaller community, for a total of 10 in the North Slope Borough
      • Kotzebue (1) and 3 in a smaller community or communities, for a total of 4 in the Northwest Arctic Borough
      • 5 in communities in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area
      • Sitka (4)
      • Unalaska (2)
      • Cordova (1), Valdez (2), and one in a smaller community, for a total of 4 in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area
      • Wrangell (2)
      • Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon Census Areas (9)
      • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (5)

      Case rates and alert levels

      7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. 

      Regions with increased rates this week included the Anchorage Municipality (13.1 from 11.7), Fairbanks North Star Borough (11.5 from 10.3), Y-K Delta Region (10.9 from 4.9), the Southern Southeast Region (6.5 from 5.7) and the Northern Southeast Region (9.1 from a rate too small to calculate last week). 

      Among improved regions are the Northwest region, still high at 10.4 but improved from 15.6 last week, the Interior Region at 5.5 from 9.8, Mat-Su (5.0 from 7.7), Kenai Peninsula Borough (2.7 from 7.7), and Juneau City and Borough (4.0 from 6.7). 

      Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region.  

      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The alert level map above, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. 

      In high alert level (red) is the Northwest Borough (12.7 from 11.7 last week),  Fairbanks North Star Borough (10.8 from 8.3), and the Anchorage Municipality (12.6 from 13.0). 

      In intermediate alert level (orange) is Kenai Peninsula Borough (5.8 from 9.1), the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks (7.9 from 10.4), Juneau City and Borough (5.1 from 11.6), Matanuska-Susitna Borough (6.2 from 6.4), the Y-K Delta Region (7.3 from 5.4), the Northern Southeast Region (6.3 from 4.5), and the Southern Southeast region (6.1 from 6.5). 

      In low alert level (yellow) is the Southwest region (1.7 from 3.5).

      More information on alert levels is available on this page

      How Alaskans acquired COVID-19

      DHSS monitors how people most likely got the virus. In green in the plot below are Alaska residents who acquired COVID-19 by traveling to other states or countries. In March, a substantial proportion of our cases were related to Alaskans returning from elsewhere, while in April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled. Since June, as travel has started to increase, cases in Alaskans related to travel have begun to occur more regularly. 

      In blue below are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 from a known contact. These are people who did not leave the state, but we could trace their illness back to the person they got it from. The goal is for contact tracing to identify each of these cases where someone got it from someone else they had contact with so they can let all other contacts of both people know to quarantine. As contact tracing expanded in May, more cases from contacts were identified.

      In red, however, are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 and contact tracing was not able to establish a clear source. This demonstrates that there are other cases in our communities that we have not found yet. The biggest increase in cases in Alaska has been in people aged 20-39, with many cases linked to bars and social gatherings.

      Grey bars show the cases where the investigation has not yet concluded. Since the workload for contact tracers has more than doubled in the last few weeks, they are working as fast as possible to identify and quarantine contacts. Alaskans can help contact tracers move faster and prevent more cases by keeping their contact list small, keeping a diary of who they are in close contact with (defined as within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more), wearing cloth face coverings when around any non-household members or in public, and responding promptly to being contacted. 

       

      COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, August 23rd Through Saturday, August 29th, 2020 2020-09-02 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID19 Risk Level in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

       

      VISIT THE NEW KPBSD COVID19 Data Dashboard

      Current Risk Levels effective August 31, 2020, until further notice*
      Central Peninsula: MEDIUM
      Eastern Peninsula: LOW
      Southern Peninsula: LOW
      Small Communities: LOW

      (updated 8-31-20)

      KPBSD Central Peninsula Schools

      When the COVID-19 risk level jumped to high on August, 18, 2020, a decision to assist with parent and staff planning was made to delay the onsite learning option at 17 central peninsula schools. Therefore, from August 24 - September 4, school opened with only a 100% Onsite Learning option. Superintendent O'Brien will announce on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, if schools will open to at school learning after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, depending on COVID-19 risk levels.
      Update August 31, 2020: Risk Levels in Central Peninsula dropped to medium risk, so sports and activities may resume immediately with ASAA guidelines for intermediate COVID-19 risk. Schools will potentially open classes to students and onsite learning on September 8, 2020.

      When the onset of COVID-19 happened, the need to make rational and informed operational decisions became primary for the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities. KPBSD incorporated science-based guidance to assist in our decision-making processes.

      The KPBSD COVID19 risk map shows low, medium, or high risk in three general areas of the Kenai Peninsula, and small communities. The risk determination is made in conjunction with the State of Alaska actual 14 day test counts, state seven day averages of positive cases, Public Health, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the Alaska Department of Education and Early Learning (DEED), Kenai Peninsula cooperators, and the KPBSD COVID19 Community Risk Level Medical Advisory Group.

       

      The KPBSD is divided into geographical risk areas:

       

      • Central Kenai Peninsula includes Sterling to Kasilof, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities:
        Aurora Borealis Charter School; Connections Homeschool; Kaleidoscope Charter School; K-Beach Elementary School; Kenai Alternative School; Kenai Central High School; Kenai Middle School; Mountain View Elementary School; Nikiski Middle-High School; Nikiski North Star Elementary School; Redoubt Elementary School; River City Academy; Skyview Middle School; Soldotna Elementary School; Soldotna High School; Soldotna Montessori Charter School; Sterling Elementary School and Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

       

      • Eastern Kenai Peninsula includes Seward area, including Moose Pass
        Moose Pass Elementary School; Seward Elementary School; Seward High School; Seward Middle School

       

      • Southern Kenai Peninsula includes Homer area, north to Ninilchik, Anchor Point, Fritz Creek, and DHSS “other south” communities:
        Chapman School; Connections Homeschool; Fireweed Academy; Homer Flex School; Homer High School; Homer Middle School; McNeil Canyon Elementary School; Paul Banks Elementary School; West Homer Elementary School; and Other South: Kachemak-Selo School;Nikolaevsk School; Ninilchik School; Razdolna School; Voznesenka School

       

      • Schools in Individual or Remote Communities

      Cooper Landing School; Hope School; Nanwalek School; Port Graham School; Susan B. English School (Seldovia); Tebughna School

      The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) created a tool with three levels of alert based on the amount of community transmission on a per capita incidence of cases per 100,000 population as part of their plan to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors. Every day the DHSS calculates the number of new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, then averages it over the past 14 days. The DHSS article and chart are found at the following link: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/alertlevels.aspx

      20-0720 COVID Alert Level Chart

      The DHSS article specifically states:

      “These community transmission levels were developed to inform decisions about allowing visitors to long-term care facilities. However average daily per capita incidence may inform decision making in other sectors as well, such as schools, institutions of higher education, and businesses.”

      The Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) adopted this modeling to determine risk levels for student activities and sports.

      KPBSD believes that the safety of our staff and students should be as important as the safety of our senior citizens, so we have adopted the same numbers used by DHSS. We have created a “KPBSD Level of Determination by Community-Region” chart that converts the population of the borough and its communities on the “cases per 100,000 population” standard that the State used. The KPBSD chart shows case counts in two ways, the daily average case rate over fourteen days, and the total maximum number of cases in the last 14-day period.

      KPBSD created a “Resident Coronavirus Cases On The Kenai Peninsula” chart to track the daily number of cases on the Kenai Peninsula as reported by the State of Alaska on the upper portion of the chart. On the bottom half of the page, cases are grouped by Region. The cases are shown in three different ways:

      • a total of all cases
      • a total of cases in the last 14-day period
      • a daily average in the last 14-day period

      The latter two numbers are used in coordination with the “KPBSD Level of Determination by Community-Region” chart to determine what alert level each region is in for KPBSD operations. Risk levels are not solely determined by the 14 day counts, but this data provides a framework for risk level.

      COVID19 Risk Level in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 2020-09-01 08:00:00Z 0

      KPBSD Weekly Update: August 26, 2020

      KPBSD Weekly Update: August 26, 2020

      “During this first week of school, I have heard countless positive stories from our staff about how excited they are to have students back and begin a new school year. I am closely watching each day as DHSS releases COVID-19 case counts, and am pleased with how the Central Peninsula has been trending the past few days.

      I am hopeful that we will be able to open our Central Peninsula schools to in-person onsite learning on Tuesday September 8, 2020, if these encouraging trends continue. Thank you for your patience and commitment to education on the Kenai Peninsula.” –Superintendent John O’Brien

      New Risk Level Data Dashboard by school, geographical area, and 14 day positive case count is live, and updated automatically, every day! The need to make rational and informed operational decisions is primary for the health and safety of schools. KPBSD incorporates science-based guidance to assist in decision-making processes. Learn more at the KPBSD and COVID19 risk level webpageTip: visit and bookmark the new data dashboard.
       

      What is the Symptom-Free School Protocol for students and staff?

      The purpose of this protocol is to provide a learning environment that is as free of illness as possible, so students and staff of all health levels can participate in school without fear. By extension, this will also promote the safety, health and welfare of our communities. This applies to students, staff, parents and guardians, volunteers, and any school visitors.

      Parents and Guardians: check your child’s temperature every morning before sending them to school. Ask your child how they feel before determining if they should be sent to school.

      When to Stay Home from School

      Stay home if:

      • You have active vomiting or diarrhea
      • You have fever, chills, generalized body aches. (Fever threshold will constitute 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher without use of fever-reducing medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen.)
      • If you have any other COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, runny or stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
        • Parent, guardian, or individual should call their health care provider or Public Health first for guidance regarding presenting symptoms and possible testing for COVID-19
      • You are taking the first 24 hours of antibiotic treatment
      • You have an undiagnosed, new and, or, untreated rash or skin condition
      • If you have traveled outside Alaska or returned in the last 14 days and have not yet completed the state-required quarantine and, or, testing protocol

      When to Return to School After Illness

      • If you have been tested and are diagnosed with COVID19, you may return to school no sooner than 10 days after the onset of symptoms, or the date you took the test that was returned positive, whichever is earlier, and you have been symptom free for 24 hours without medication
      • If you have COVID19-like symptoms but choose not to be tested, you may return to school no sooner than 10 days after the onset of symptoms AND you must be fever-free for 24 hours without taking any medicine to reduce the fever AND you must be free of cough, cold, or other symptoms for 24 hours, without taking medication to reduce symptoms
      • If you have COVID19-like symptoms, are tested and receive a negative result, you may provide the test result and return to school 24 hours after you have been symptom-free with no medication
      • If you have symptoms and visit a doctor who determines your symptoms are caused by something else besides COVID19, you can provide a doctor’s note and return to school 24 hours after you have been symptom free with no medication
      • If you feel the symptoms were caused by a chronic problem, such as allergies, please consult your school nurse. Your doctor may be able to provide an order with an alternate diagnosis. However, your child will still have to be symptom-free before returning to school

      Links

      If you have a first day of school photo to share in the KPBSD 2020-2021 Social Photo Album, email it to communications@KPBSD.org!

      Tags: 

      This entry was posted on August 26, 2020 at 5:17 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

      Posted in KPBSD District Stories by Pegge Erkeneff 

      KPBSD Weekly Update: August 26, 2020 2020-08-27 08:00:00Z 0

      African Region Declared Free of Wild Poliovirus

      Rotary and its GPEI partners celebrate a monumental achievement, say global eradication of wild polio is possible with the continued dedication and persistence of Rotarians.
       
      Story Written By: 
      Ryan Hyland

      Aug. 24, 2020

      The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.

      After decades of hard won gains in the region, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) — WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the vaccine alliance — are proclaiming the milestone an achievement in public health. They offer it as proof that strong commitment, coordination, and perseverance can rid the world of polio. 

      The certification that the African region is free of wild poliovirus comes after the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) conducted thorough field verifications that confirmed no new cases and analyzed documentation of polio surveillance, immunization, and laboratory capacity by Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The commission had already accepted the documentation of the other 43 countries in the region. 

      The last cases of polio caused by the wild virus in the African region were recorded in Nigeria’s northern state of Borno in August 2016, after two years with no cases. Conflict, along with challenges in reaching mobile populations, had hampered efforts to immunize children there.

      Now that the African region is free of wild poliovirus, five of WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the disease. Polio caused by the wild virus is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region. 

      The African region’s wild polio-free certification was celebrated during a livestream event. Speakers included Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Bill Gates, Rotary International President Holger Knaack, Nigeria PolioPlus chair Dr. Tunji Funsho, and representatives of other GPEI partners. The celebration was followed by a press conference. 

      In the program, Knaack spoke about people needing good news during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The challenges ahead are formidable,” Knaack said. “That’s why we must recognize this great achievement and commend all the people who played important roles in reaching this milestone. It took tremendous effort over many years.”

      An achievement decades in the making 

      Not detecting any wild poliovirus in Africa is in stark contrast to the situation in 1996, when 75,000 children there were paralyzed by the disease. That year, at a meeting of the Organization of African Unity in Cameroon, African heads of state committed to eradicating the disease from the continent. 

      To bolster the effort, also in 1996, Rotary, its GPEI partners, and South African President Nelson Mandela launched the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign. Using soccer matches and celebrity endorsements, the campaign raised awareness of polio and helped more than 30 African countries to hold their first National Immunization Days. Mandela’s call to action helped mobilize leaders across the continent to increase their efforts to reach every child with polio vaccine. 

      Since 1996, countless Rotary members from across Africa and around the world have raised funds, immunized children, and promoted vaccinations, enabling the GPEI to respond to and stop polio outbreaks. More than 9 billion doses of oral polio vaccine have been provided throughout the region, preventing an estimated 1.8 million cases of paralysis. Each year, about 2 million volunteers help vaccinate 220 million children against polio multiple times in the African region. 

      Rotary members have contributed nearly $890 million toward polio eradication efforts in the African region. The funds have allowed Rotary to issue PolioPlus grants to fund polio surveillance, transportation, awareness campaigns, and National Immunization Days. 

      Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus committee, noted Rotarians’ tremendous contributions to polio eradication efforts in Africa: “From raising funds and immunizing children, to providing ‘polio plusses,’ such as soap and health kits, Rotary members have shown resilience and steadfast dedication to our top priority of ending polio.”

      Rotary members have helped build extensive polio infrastructure that has been used to respond to COVID-19 and, in 2014, the Ebola crisis, as well as to protect communities from yellow fever and bird flu. 

      Challenges still ahead

      The GPEI’s challenge now is to eradicate wild poliovirus in the two countries where the disease has never been stopped: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Additionally, routine immunization in Africa must also be strengthened to keep the wild poliovirus from returning and to protect children against circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, which is rare but continues to infect people in parts of the African region. 

      To eradicate polio, multiple high-quality immunization campaigns must continue to be given priority. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s necessary to keep children vaccinated against polio while also protecting health workers from COVID-19 and making sure they don’t contribute to its transmission. 

      Global health officials and experts say that sustained fundraising and advocacy are still crucial, not only to protect gains in Africa, but to reach the ultimate goal of a world without polio. Rotary members still have a critical role to play in keeping the African region free of wild poliovirus and eliminating the virus in the two countries where polio remains endemic.

      As Knaack said, “This is a big step in our journey to a polio-free world, but the fight is not over yet. We still need the support of our Rotary members, donors, and heroic effort of health care workers to finish the job.”

      From THE ROTARIAN

      African Region Declared Free of Wild Poliovirus 2020-08-27 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 Cases in Alaska From Sunday, August 16thThrough Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update
       
      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, August 16th through Saturday, August 22nd, 2020.
       
      Background
      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be composed every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the AK DHSS Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 
       
      Highlights
      • There are far more active cases in Alaska now than there were at any point in March, April, May or June, but there has been a gradual decrease since a high in late July.
      • In the last week, Alaska saw a 11% increase in cases, with 47% of new cases identified in Anchorage. 
      • Nearly 40% of this week's new cases were among people aged 20-39 years.
      • The percent of Alaskans who have recovered from COVID-19 compared to total cases in Alaska residents is increasing, but there are still more active than recovered cases reported.
      • Of complete investigations, 61% of this week's new cases were community-acquired or secondary, meaning that those Alaskans got COVID-19 from others in their community rather than through travel.
      • Many people diagnosed with COVID-19 statewide continue to report attending social gatherings, community events, church services and other social venues while they were contagious but before they were aware they had the virus. 
      • Hospital beds used for patients with COVID-19 ranged from 32 to 45 over the past week.
      • Total statewide hospital bed occupancy has remained between 50% to 60% over the past week, although this includes urban hospital beds as well as beds in smaller hospitals that do not often accept transfers from other hospitals.
      • Alaskans should avoid gatherings, wear masks in public, keep six feet of distance from anyone outside of their household and wash hands frequently to slow the spread of COVID-19.  
      New cases
      This week saw 482 new cases in Alaskans and 15 in nonresidents, for a total of 4,741 and 817 respectively. Several cases previously classified as resident cases have since been reclassified as nonresident cases after further investigation took place. 12 additional Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 197 since the epidemic began; several hospitalizations that began before this week were also identified. Four additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 32. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus.  
       
      Epidemic curve
      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/
      Currently, cases are predicted to halve about every 90 days based on the current case trend, worse from from last week, when cases were predicted to halve every 20 days. Keeping the case trend prediction downsloping will depend on a continued effort among Alaskans to slow the spread of transmission through physical distancing, masks and limiting contacts. 
       
      Communities affected this week 
      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:
      ·         Anchorage (226), Chugiak (2), Girdwood (1) and Eagle River (11), for a total of 240 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality. 
      ·         Fairbanks (63), North Pole (7) and one in a smaller community for a total of 71 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
      ·     Wasilla (41), Palmer (11), Willow (1), Houston (1) and Big Lake (3) for a total of 57 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
      ·     Kenai (18), Soldotna (14), Homer (2), Kenai (10) and a smaller community (2) for a total of 46 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
      ·     Valdez (1) and 6 in a smaller community or communities in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, for a total of 7
      ·     Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (9)
      ·     Juneau (15) and Douglas (2), for a total of 17 in the Juneau City and Borough
      ·     Ketchikan (3)
      ·     Kotzebue (13) and 4 in a smaller community or communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough, for a total of 17
      ·     Sitka (3)
      ·     Kodiak (3)
      ·     Utqiagvik (6) and one in a smaller community in the North Slope Borough, for a total of 7
      ·     Nome (5) and 4 in a smaller community or communities in the Nome Census Area for a total of 9
      ·     Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula (1)
      ·     Dillingham (1)
      ·     Bethel (4) and 5 in a smaller community, for 9 total in the Bethel Census Area 
      ·     Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (5)
      ·     Wrangell (1)
       
      Case rates and alert levels
      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. 
      The highest case rate this week was in the Northwest Region, which nearly doubled from 8.3 to 15.6. Next is Anchorage Municipality, which improved from 14.6 to 11.7 in the last week, and Fairbanks North Star Borough, at 10.3 from 7.3. The Interior Region improved to 9.8 from 11.0, while Kenai Peninsula Borough improved from 10.0 to 8.8. Mat-Su increased from 5.8 to 7.7 this week, while Juneau City and Borough improved from 16.5 to 6.7. The southern Southeast region improved from 7.2 to 5.7, while the Y-K Delta improved from 6.0 to 4.9. The Southwest Region and the northern Southeast region had few cases this week and a rate was not calculated. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 
      7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)
       
      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The alert level map below, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. 
      In high alert level (red) is the Northwest Borough (11.7 from 7.8 last week), the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks (10.4 from 8.5), Juneau City and Borough (11.6 from 13.0), and the Anchorage Municipality (13.0 from 14.4). 
      In intermediate alert level (orange) is Fairbanks North Star Borough (8.3 from 6.0), Kenai Peninsula Borough (9.1 from 7.3). Matanuska-Susitna Borough (6.4 from 5.1), the Y-K Delta Region (5.4 from 3.8), and the Southern Southeast region (6.5 from 4.3). 
      In low alert level (yellow) is the Northern Southeast Region (4.5, the same as last week) and the Southwest region (3.5 from 3.7). 
      More information on alert levels is available on this page
       
      How Alaskans acquired COVID-19
      DHSS monitors how people most likely got the virus. In green in the plot below are Alaska residents who acquired COVID-19 by traveling to other states or countries. In March, a substantial proportion of our cases were related to Alaskans returning from elsewhere, while in April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled. Since June, as travel has started to increase, cases in Alaskans related to travel have begun to occur more regularly. 
      In blue below are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 from a known contact. These are people who did not leave the state, but we could trace their illness back to the person they got it from. The goal is for contact tracing to identify each of these cases where someone got it from someone else they had contact with so they can let all other contacts of both people know to quarantine. As contact tracing expanded in May, more cases from contacts were identified.
      In red, however, are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 and contact tracing was not able to establish a clear source. This demonstrates that there are other cases in our communities that we have not found yet. The biggest increase in cases in Alaska has been in people aged 20-39, with many cases linked to bars and social gatherings.
      Grey bars show the cases where the investigation has not yet concluded. Since the workload for contact tracers has more than doubled in the last few weeks, they are working as fast as possible to identify and quarantine contacts. Alaskans can help contact tracers move faster and prevent more cases by keeping their contact list small, keeping a diary of who they are in close contact with (defined as within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more), wearing cloth face coverings when around any non-household members or in public, and responding promptly to being contacted. 
       
       
      Age and gender distributions
      More COVID-19 cases have been found in adults aged 20-39 than any other age group. Gender distribution has been close to equal, with slightly fewer than half of cases in males and slightly over half in females. 
       

       
      COVID-19 Cases in Alaska From Sunday, August 16thThrough Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 2020-08-27 08:00:00Z 0

      17 KPBSD Schools in Central Peninsula Will Open With 100% Remote Learning on August 24, 2020

       

      News Release: 17 KPBSD schools in Central Peninsula will open with 100% remote learning on August 24, 2020

      Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

      Soldotna, August 18, 2020—COVID19 community transmission risk level jumped to High Risk (Red) on August 18, 2020, for the geographical region KPBSD defines as “Central Peninsula” when the State of Alaska positive COVID19 case count reported numbers today. This triggers a safety and operational decision for the school district about opening schools to onsite learning. The need to make rational and informed operational decisions is primary for the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities. In contrast, at this time, risk levels dictate schools in the Southern Peninsula (Homer area), Eastern Peninsula (Seward area); and schools in individual or remote communities* will all begin with the onsite school option available.

      “Offering predictability for our families, staff, and communities is tricky during a global pandemic,” said Superintendent O’Brien. “I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend opening schools in central peninsula to onsite at school learning on August 24, 2020. I know how hard this is for our students who are excited to return to school, for families, and for our staff. I’ve looked at the science-based guidance to assist in our decision-making process, consulted with our KPBSD COVID19 Risk Level Medical Advisory Group, and am following our SmartStart plan. I am disappointed the positive case count appears to be trending with increases in high risk levels. Every day we will evaluate risk level trends and actual counts. To aid planning for families and eliminate a ping-pong effect back and forth between risk levels, I hope that if case levels in the central peninsula drop to a medium risk level, we can open schools to onsite learning after Labor Day, on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We will continue providing district level updates every week, plus each school will communicate directly with their families.”

      When a school moves into a High Risk (red) level, KPBSD will provide services and learning opportunities onsite in school for vulnerable students. In the SmartStart plan, Special Education PreK; Title I PreK; Kindergarten; and certain groups of students in special education will be able to attend school in person. Bus transportation will continue for students in special education who already receive special education bussing services. In all other instances, transportation will need to be provided by parents or guardians during high-risk levels. Please contact your school or case manager directly with questions.

      Which schools are opening with High Risk, 100% Remote Learning?

      Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities

      • Aurora Borealis Charter School
      • Kaleidoscope Charter School
      • K-Beach Elementary School
      • Kenai Alternative School
      • Kenai Central High School
      • Kenai Middle School
      • Mountain View Elementary School
      • Nikiski Middle-High School
      • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
      • Redoubt Elementary School
      • River City Academy
      • Skyview Middle School
      • Soldotna Elementary School
      • Soldotna High School
      • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
      • Sterling Elementary School
      • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

      What do parents and guardians need to know?

      • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions and respond to questions about the new school year beginning with 100% remote learning
      • Get It and Go Meals for students will begin Monday, August 24, 2020. Details will be in a separate communication
      • All sports competitions in the central peninsula are cancelled. This affects Kenai Central High School; Nikiski Middle-High School; Soldotna High School; Aurora Borealis Charter School; Kenai Middle School; and Skyview Middle School. KPBSD follows ASAA Return-to-Practice Protocols  
      • Pools: Kenai Central High School, Skyview High School, and Soldotna High School pools are closed to public use
      17 KPBSD Schools in Central Peninsula Will Open With 100% Remote Learning on August 24, 2020 2020-08-20 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 Statistics for Alaska From Sunday, August 9th through Saturday, August 15th, 2020

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

       

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, August 9th through Saturday, August 15th, 2020.

      Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be composed every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

      Highlights

      • Alaska continues to see rapid increases in resident new cases 
      • The biggest increase this week was in Anchorage, which had 286 new cases, representing 14 more cases than last week and 52% of this week’s increase
      • Total cases among Alaska residents rose 15% this week with 554 new cases
      • The majority of new cases continue to be among Alaskans aged 20-29, with cases among Alaskans in their 20s and 30s still rising
      • Most nonresident cases have been identified before the person had significant community interaction
      • Most new cases in Alaskans are acquired from other Alaskans who have not traveled
      • Transmission between Alaskans at social gatherings, within families, at community events, churches and bars has significantly contributed to the rise in cases
      • Hospital capacity is currently adequate, but hospitalizations and deaths are increasing 
      • Alaskans should avoid gatherings, wear face coverings in public, keep six feet of distance from non-household members and practice good hand hygiene to slow transmission of COVID-19 

      New cases

      This week saw 554 new cases in Alaskans and 38 in nonresidents, for a total of 4,259 and 801 respectively. Several cases previously classified as resident cases have since been reclassified as nonresident cases after further investigation took place. 10 additional Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 154 since the epidemic began. Two additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 28. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus.  

      Epidemic curve

      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

      Currently, cases are predicted to halve about every 22 days based on the current case trend, an improvement from last week, when cases were predicted to halve every 38 days; however, this will depend on a continued effort among Alaskans to slow the spread of transmission through physical distancing, masks and limiting contacts. 

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      • Anchorage (286), Chugiak (8), and Eagle River (12), for a total of 306 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality.
      • Fairbanks (45), North Pole (6) and one in a smaller community for a total of 52 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
      • Wasilla (27), Palmer (8), Willow (3), and Big Lake (1) for a total of 39 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
      • Seward (2), Soldotna (12), Homer (4), Kenai (10), Sterling (10), Anchor Point (1) and a smaller community (2) for a total of 41 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
      • Cordova (1), Valdez (2), and 9 in a smaller community or communities in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, for a total of 12
      • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (5)
      • Juneau (38) and Douglas (2), for a total of 40 in the Juneau City and Borough
      • Delta Junction (1)
      • Ketchikan (3)
      • Kotzebue (1) and 6 in a smaller community or communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough, for a total of 7
      • Sitka (5)
      • Haines (1)
      • Petersburg (1)
      • Kodiak (5)
      • Utqiagvik (4) and one in a smaller community in the North Slope Borough, for a total of 5
      • Nome (5)
      • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula (1)
      • Dillingham (3)
      • Bethel (8) and one in a smaller community, for 9 total in the Bethel Census Area
      • Unalaska (1)
      • Metlakatla (1) and 7 in a smaller community or communities in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, for a total of 8
      • Wrangell (1)
      • Kusilvak Census Area (1)
      • Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (2)

      Case rates and alert levels

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. 

      Currently, Anchorage Municipality remains in the red and has gone from 14 to 14.6 in the last week; Juneau City and Borough has joined it with 16.5, significantly up from 8.5 last week. The Interior Region has worsened to 11.0 from 9.2, and the Northwest Region has worsened from 6.3 to 8.3. Next, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough had 7.3 and 10.0; significantly worse than last week’s 4.6 and 5.9 respectively. Matanuska-Susitna Borough has held relatively steady at 5.1 from 5.8 last week. Northern and southern Southeast regions had rates of 6.3 and 7.2 this week respectively, while the Y-K Delta had a rate of 6.0 and the Southwest Region, 5.0. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 

      7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)

      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The alert level map below, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. By that approach, the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks continues in the intermediate alert level, going from a case rate of 7.9 to a case rate of 8.5 in a week. Juneau City and Borough is significantly worse off this week, now in the high alert level with 13.0,up from 7.4 last week. The Anchorage Municipality is down to 14.4 from 18.5, still in the high alert level. Fairbanks itself has worsened slightly, going from 5.0 to 6.0. Kenai Peninsula Borough’s rate has risen slightly from 6.5 to 7.3. Matanuska-Susitna Borough improved to 5.1 from 7.4 and with the Northwest Borough (7.8 from 7.6 last week) is in the intermediate (orange) alert level. Other regions had case rates <5, including the Northern and Southern Southeast Regions, which have been steady in the low alert level at 4.5 and 4.3 respectively, as well as the Y-K Delta Region, at 3.8, and the Southwest region, at 3.7. 

      Alaska COVID-19 Alert Levels

      More information on alert levels is available on this page

      How Alaskans acquired COVID-19

      DHSS monitors how people most likely got the virus. In green in the plot below are Alaska residents who acquired COVID-19 by traveling to other states or countries. In March, a substantial proportion of our cases were related to Alaskans returning from elsewhere, while in April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled. Since June, as travel has started to increase, cases in Alaskans related to travel have begun to occur more regularly. 

      COVID-19 Statistics for Alaska From Sunday, August 9th through Saturday, August 15th, 2020 2020-08-20 08:00:00Z 0

      Education on the Front Lines

      In Nigeria, a University President and Rotary Club  Fight Boko Haram by Educating and Feeding Victims
       
      By Frank Bures           Photographs by Andrew Esiebo
       
      In her office at the American University of Nigeria, in the dusty northeastern town of Yola, Margee Ensign heard the news: Some 170 miles to the north, nearly 300 girls at a boarding school had been roused from sleep and kidnapped at gunpoint by the terrorist group Boko Haram. 
       
      Ensign, the president of the fledgling university, was already struggling with the fallout from Boko Haram’s attacks in Nigeria’s north, which had sent a flood of refugees into Yola. Together with community leaders, including her fellow Rotarians, she had worked to run feeding programs to keep the refugees – whose number eventually swelled to 400,000 – alive.
       
       
      Rotarians working with the Adamawa Peace Initiative help run the Feed and Read program, which provides a hot meal along with lessons in English and math, and the Peace through Sports program.
       
      After the news of the kidnapping broke in April 2014, a woman who worked for the university asked to see Ensign. She sat down in the president’s office and told Ensign that her sister had been one of 58 girls who had escaped that night by jumping out of Boko Haram’s trucks and running into the bush.
       
      Ensign quickly began contacting those girls’ families to offer them a place at the university, which also houses a high school. In the end, 27 girls decided to come, and on 30 August – four months after the raid – Ensign prepared to head into the heart of the conflict to pick up the girls. 
      “We were going into dangerous territory,” says Lionel Rawlins, the university’s security chief. “We were going into Boko Haram’s backyard to snatch the girls. The morning before we left, we went to the police and said, ‘Are we ready?’ And they said, ‘We’re not going. It’s too dangerous up there.’ So I went back and told Margee we were on our own. We looked at each other, and I knew exactly what she was thinking. She said, ‘If you’re up to it, I’m up to it. Let’s go get the girls.’”
       
      This wasn’t exactly what Ensign had imagined she would be doing when she arrived in Yola in 2010. An educator and administrator originally from California, she had come to run the American University of Nigeria (AUN), which had been founded in 2004 by Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria and a multimillionaire. Abubakar chose Yola because it’s in one of the country’s poorest, least developed states, with 80 percent unemployment, 75 percent illiteracy, and a “stunting” rate – due to chronic malnutrition – of 47 percent. 
       
      Ensign was intrigued by the job offer: Abubakar wanted AUN to be a development university that would transfer its knowledge to the poor areas around it, the way American land grant universities passed on agricultural knowledge to farmers. 
       
       “I hadn’t worked in West Africa,” she says. “It was a gigantic challenge: the complexity, the size, the scale of the country, the scale of the problems. But I kept thinking maybe this would be a chance to educate some of the future leaders of this very important country. Nigeria will be the third-largest country in the world by 2050.”
       
      University President Margee Ensign, center, chats with students. “Every single person in Rwanda knows Margee because of her work. She’s part of our story,”  says Mathilde Mukantabana, Rwandan ambassador to the United States.
       
      Ensign had been researching and teaching about development issues long before she came to Nigeria. In 1993, she was teaching a class in Washington, D.C., when one of her students, Bonaventure Niyibizi, told her he needed to go home to Rwanda. He was worried his family would be killed. Ensign drove him to the airport and said goodbye, and four months later the genocide began: In 100 days, nearly a million people were killed by their neighbors. 
       
      For much of the world this was a distant, horrific news story. But for Ensign, it had names and faces. She couldn’t forget her students. In 1999, she flew to Arusha, Tanzania, to attend the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. There, she learned that Niyibizi was alive and working with the Rwandan government. 
       
      For the next 10 years, as dean of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific in California, Ensign spent almost every summer in Rwanda working on development projects, including a committee to establish the University of Rwanda.
       
      At the same time, she researched how the country had emerged from one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century to become a fast-growing, stable economy. Part of that process involved reconciliation between killers and families of those who had been killed. 
       
       “Every single person in Rwanda knows Margee because of her work,” says Mathilde Mukantabana, the Rwandan ambassador to the United States. “She was one of the first people to help us start organizing a conference on the genocide. She never quit. She was one of the people who – as an individual and on an institutional level – helped Rwanda to heal. She’s part of our story.”
       
      Lionel Rawlins, a criminology and counterterrorism expert, is a member of the America University of Nigeria chapter of the Yola Rotary Club and chief of security at the university. He oversees training and education for the university’s security staff.
       
      When Ensign first arrived in Yola in 2010, it was the rainy season and everything was green. There was no indication of the heat to come, of the dust from the Sahara, or of the insurgency brewing in the north. 
       
      Shortly after arriving, she helped charter the AUN chapter of Rotary Club of Yola, which she knew would motivate university leaders to get involved in the community, and she implemented a required community development course for students. 
       
      She also called on an old colleague: Lionel Rawlins, a counterterrorism expert who had been born on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean and who was training troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time. He agreed to come to Yola to work with the university’s security staff, turning it into a more professional force, and to teach classes in criminology. 
       
      Then, in January 2012 – less than two years after Ensign took the job – the first crisis hit. The Nigerian government ended fuel subsidies, and protests broke out everywhere. “The whole country was rioting,” she says. 
       
      Ensign and Ahmed Joda, a prominent Muslim leader and chair of the university’s board of directors, met and said, “We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to build something in this community.” So they each invited people they knew to meet at the university. What started as a conversation grew into the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API).
       
       Once we’d dealt with those first 5,000 we thought we’d solved it. ...Then by July it had gone from 5,000 to 20,000, and all of a sudden, in September, it was 10 times that.
      Margee Ensign, 
      American University of Nigeria President and Rotarian
       
      The group decided to focus on identifying and helping vulnerable youth. At that time, Yola had about 2,000 orphans and 40,000 almajiri, children who are sent away by their families to study the Koran. In Yola, those children often gathered outside the university gates to beg. They were potential targets for recruitment by terrorists.
       
      The API’s first major program, called Peace through Sports, organized local boys and girls from different religious and ethnic groups into “unity teams” in which they played games and ate meals together. One boy told Ensign: “It was either this program or Boko Haram. There is nothing else here.”
       
      Then, in spring 2014, a new challenge arose. People had begun fleeing from the north, where Boko Haram was attacking towns, burning homes, and enslaving girls. Ensign, Rawlins, and fellow Rotarian Abdullahi Bello drove to Mubi, a city about 120 miles northeast, to hear about the plight of hundreds of women and children who had fled the fighting. 
       
      Refugees began pouring into Yola. People who worked at AUN told stories about family members fleeing from the north after their villages were destroyed. One driver had 50 relatives living at his house.
       
      By June 2014, there were 5,000 refugees in Yola. The university, the API, and the Rotary Club worked together to raise money to help the newcomers buy seeds to plant crops and pay their children’s school fees. 
       
       “Once we’d dealt with those first 5,000 we thought we’d solved it, because that’s a huge number of people,” Ensign says. “Then by July it had gone from 5,000 to 20,000, and all of a sudden, in September, it was 10 times that.”
       
      Children at a camp for internally displaced persons in Yola receive meals and other relief materials organized by Rotarians, the university, and the peace initiative.
       
      The city was overwhelmed, but the government did nothing. Representatives of the international community hadn’t yet arrived on the scene. (And when they finally did, their response was “inadequate and incorrectly targeted,” according to a university report.) So Ensign and the others raised more money, which was funneled through the API, to buy food and supplies for the internally displaced people in and around Yola. They bought rice, beans, maize, cooking oil, blankets, sugar, salt, pasta, guinea corn, soap. They gave out petty cash for transportation. At the distribution points, tens of thousands of people lined up.
       
      Meanwhile Boko Haram moved closer. In October 2014, the militants captured Mubi, and the river of refugees became a flood. By early 2015, an estimated 400,000 displaced people were living in Yola, and residents began to fear that Boko Haram would march all the way to the gates of the university. 
       
      “We had sleepless nights for weeks,” Rawlins says. “All the schools were closed down and everyone was running. But we stayed open.” 
      In a massive effort, the university, the API, and the Rotarians worked with Muslim, Christian, and other religious leaders to make sure no one starved. 
       
      “None of us had time to think about what we were doing,” Ensign says. “It was just: Raise the money, get the food, get it out, take care of these people. For six or seven months we had thousands of people in the streets and almost daily food distribution.”
       
      With refugee crises going on around the world, Ensign says their experience has some lessons to offer. “In Yola, we took care of the same number of people as are refugees in some parts of Europe right now, where they say it’s impossible for these rich countries to take care of these refugees,” she says. “But we’re one of the poorest communities in the world, and we somehow figured it out.”
       
      In November 2014, the Nigerian army retook Mubi and began pushing Boko Haram back to the north. Refugees started to leave Yola to return to their homes, but with everything burned and broken – hospitals, schools, banks, farms – it was going take a long time for normal life to resume, let alone for the wounds to heal. 
       
      We had sleepless nights for weeks. Everyone was running. But we stayed open.
      Lionel Rawlins, 
      Assistant Vice President for safety and security, American University of Nigeria
       
      To that end, the API expanded its goals to include reconciliation. “My experience in Rwanda tells me that rebuilding structures and rebuilding schools is important, but people have to figure out a way to deal with what happened,” Ensign says.
       
      Education on the Front Lines 2020-08-19 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19  Data Summary for Alaska From Sunday, August 2nd Through Saturday, August 8th, 2020

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

       

       

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, August 2nd through Saturday, August 8th, 2020.

      Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be composed every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the AK DHSS Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

      Highlights

      ·         Alaska continues to see rapid increases in resident and nonresident new cases 

      ·         The biggest increase this week was in Anchorage, which had 272 new cases, or 62% of this week’s increase

      ·         Fewer new cases were seen this week than last week in Anchorage, the second full week since Anchorage reinstituted restrictions July 22 on restaurants, bars and other gathering places in response to community-wide spread; Anchorage also closed bars and restaurants to all in-person service August 3rd.

      ·         Total cases among Alaska residents rose 14% this week with 442 new cases

      ·         The majority of new cases continue to be among Alaskans aged 20-29, with cases among Alaskans in their 20s and 30s still rising 

      ·         Most nonresident cases have been identified before the person had significant community interaction

      ·         Most new cases in Alaskans are acquired from other Alaskans who have not traveled

      ·         Transmission between Alaskans at social gatherings, within families, at community events, churches and bars has significantly contributed to the rise in cases

      ·         Hospital capacity is currently adequate, but hospitalizations and deaths are increasing 

      ·         Alaskans should avoid gatherings, wear face coverings in public, keep six feet of distance from non-household members and practice good hand hygiene to slow transmission of COVID-19 

      New cases

      This week saw 442 new cases in Alaskans and 60 in nonresidents, for a total of 3,706 and 764 respectively. 10 additional Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 154 since the epidemic began. Two additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 26. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus. 

      Epidemic curve

      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. Currently, cases are predicted to halve about every 38 days based on the current case trend, a reversal in trend from last week, when they were predicted to double about every 21 days; however, this will depend on a continued effort among Alaskans to slow the spread of transmission through physical distancing, masks and limiting contacts. 

      For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

       

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      ·         Anchorage (272), Chugiak (5), and Eagle River (14), for a total of 291 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality. 

      ·         Fairbanks (29) and North Pole (6) for a total of 35 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      ·         Wasilla (20), Palmer (10), Houston (1), Willow (4), Sutton-Alpine (1), Big Lake (1), and a smaller community (1) for a total of 39 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

      ·         Seward (2), Soldotna (9), Homer (1), Fritz Creek (1), Sterling (4) and a smaller community (1) for a total of 18 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough

      ·         Cordova (1), and 1 in a smaller community in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, for a total of 2

      ·         Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (6)

      ·         Juneau (17)

      ·         Delta Junction (3)

      ·         Ketchikan (1)

      ·         Kotzebue (1) and 3 in a smaller community or communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough, for a total of 4

      ·         Sitka (3)

      ·         Utqiagvik (5)

      ·         Nome Census Area (2) 

      ·         Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula (4)

      ·         Bethel Census Area (1)

      ·         Aleutians East Borough (1)

      ·         Metlakatla (1)

      ·         Wrangell (1)

      ·         Hooper Bay (1) and one in a smaller community for 2 total in Kusilvak Census Area 

       

      Case rates and alert levels

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. 

      Currently, Anchorage Municipality remains in the red, but has decreased its 7 day case rate from 28 to 14 in the last week. The Interior Region has worsened slightly to 9.2 from 7 last week, and the Northwest Region has improved to 6.3 from 8.8. Next, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough had 4.6 and 5.9 respectively, both declined modestly since last week. Matanuska-Susitna Borough has improved to 5.8 from 8.6 last week. Juneau City and Borough worsened to 8.5 from 6.7. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 

       7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)

      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The alert level map below, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. By that approach, the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks is improved to the intermediate alert level, going from a case rate of 18 to a case rate of 7.9 in a week.  The Anchorage Municipality, which nearly doubled its rate in a week from 10.9 to 20.5, is now down to 18.5 a week later. Fairbanks itself has improved from 7.2 to 5. Kenai Peninsula Borough’s rate has improved slightly to 6.5 from 8 last week. Matanuska-Susitna Borough rose to 7.4 from 7.25 and Juneau City and Borough from 6.7 to 7.4, and with the Northwest Borough (7.6 from 7.3 last week) are in the intermediate (orange) alert level. Other regions had case rates <5, including the Northern and Southern Southeast Regions, which improved from 5.9 to 4.2 and 5.0 to 2.2 respectively in the past week. 

      Alaska COVID-19 Alert Levels

      More information on alert levels is available on this page

      How Alaskans acquired COVID-19

      DHSS monitors how people most likely got the virus. In green in the plot below are Alaska residents who acquired COVID-19 by traveling to other states or countries. In March, a substantial proportion of our cases were related to Alaskans returning from elsewhere, while in April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled. Since June, as travel has started to increase, cases in Alaskans related to travel have begun to occur more regularly. 

      In blue below are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 from a known contact. These are people who did not leave the state, but we could trace their illness back to the person they got it from. The goal is for contact tracing to identify each of these cases where someone got it from someone else they had contact with so they can let all other contacts of both people know to quarantine. As contact tracing expanded in May, more cases from contacts were identified.

      In red, however, are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 and contact tracing was not able to establish a clear source. This demonstrates that there are other cases in our communities that we have not found yet. The biggest increase in cases in Alaska has been in people aged 20-39, with many cases linked to bars and social gatherings.

      Grey bars show the cases where the investigation has not yet concluded. Since the workload for contact tracers has more than doubled in the last few weeks, they are working as fast as possible to identify and quarantine contacts. Alaskans can help contact tracers move faster and prevent more cases by keeping their contact list small, keeping a diary of who they are in close contact with (defined as within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more), wearing cloth face coverings when around any non-household members or in public, and responding promptly to being contacted. 

       

      COVID-19  Data Summary for Alaska From Sunday, August 2nd Through Saturday, August 8th, 2020 2020-08-12 08:00:00Z 0

      Jennifer E. Jones, of Canada, Has Been Nominated to Become Rotary International’s President for 2022-23
       

      By 

      Jennifer E. Jones, of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2022-23.

       

      Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, a groundbreaking selection that will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

      Jones will officially become president-nominee on 1 October if no other candidates challenge her.

      Jones says she sees Rotary’s Action Plan as a catalyst for increasing Rotary’s impact.

      “As we reflect upon our new strategic priorities, we could have never envisioned that our ability to adapt would become our North Star during what is inarguably the most profound time in recent history,” Jones said in her vision statement. “Silver linings rise out of the most challenging circumstances. Using metric-driven goals, I will harness this historic landscape to innovate, educate, and communicate opportunities that reflect today’s reality.”

      As the first woman to be nominated to be president, Jones understands how important it is to follow through on Rotary’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement. “I believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion … begins at the top and for us to realize growth in female membership and members under the age of forty — these demographics need to see their own reflection in leadership,” Jones said. “I will champion double-digit growth in both categories while never losing sight of our entire family.”

      Jones is founder and president of Media Street Productions Inc., an award-winning media company in Windsor. She was chair of the board of governors of the University of Windsor and chair of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized for her service with the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award, a first for a Canadian. Jones holds a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.).

      A current Rotary Foundation trustee, Jones has been a Rotary member since 1997 and has served Rotary as RI vice president, director, training leader, committee chair, moderator, and district governor. She played a lead role in Rotary’s rebranding effort by serving as chair of the Strengthening Rotary’s Advisory Group. She is the co-chair of the End Polio Now Countdown to History Campaign Committee, which aims to raise $150 million for polio eradication efforts.

      Jones recently led the successful #RotaryResponds telethon, which raised critical funds for COVID-19 relief and was viewed by more than 65,000. Jones has also received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. She and her husband, Nick Krayacich, are members of The Rotary Foundation’s Arch Klumph Society, Paul Harris Society, and the Bequest Society.

      The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2022-23 President of Rotary International are: Robert L. Hall, Dunwoody, Metro Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Bradford R. Howard Oakland Uptown, California, USA; Per Høyen, Aarup, Gelsted, Denmark; Peter Iblher, Nürnberg-Reichswald, Zirndorf, Germany; Ashok Mahajan, Mulund, Mah., India; Sam Okudzeto, Accra, Accra, Ghana; Eduardo San Martín Carreño, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain; Takeshi Matsumiya, Chigasaki-Shonan, Chigasaki Kanagawa, Japan; Michael K. McGovern (secretary), Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA; José Alfredo Pretoni, São Paulo-Sul, São Paulo, Brazil; Saowalak Rattanavich, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand; Hendreen Dean Rohrs, Langley Central, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; Kenneth M. Schuppert, Jr (chair)., Decatur, Alabama, USA; Ravindra P. Sehgal, Belur, West Bengal, India; Noel Trevaskis, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Australia; Giuseppe Viale, Genova, Genova, Italy; and Chang-Gon Yim, Daegu-West, Daegu, Korea.

      Jennifer E. Jones, of Canada, Has Been Nominated to Become Rotary International’s President for 2022-23  2020-08-12 08:00:00Z 0
      KPBSD Covid-19 Information  2020-08-12 08:00:00Z 0

      Healthy Alaskans 2030

      Healthy Alaskans

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 12, 2020

      Contact:

      Shirley Young, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, (907) 268-1014

      Clinton Bennett, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, (907) 269-4996

       

      Comments and personal action needed on Alaska's draft health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans 2030

      The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) are pleased to announce that the draft state health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans 2030, is now open for public comment on the State of Alaska Public Notice website at http://notice.alaska.gov/199049 until Sept. 2, 2020, at 5 p.m. 

       

      Healthy Alaskans is a long-standing partnership and joint effort of DHSS and ANTHC to provide data-driven objectives for ambitious — yet achievable — goals for improving the health of all Alaskans. The Healthy Alaskans 2030 plan is composed of 15 priority health topics containing 30 health objectives. Each objective has an established target to reach by 2030.


      We need action from every Alaskan in order to reach these goals.


      “What helps this plan succeed is engagement and commitment from as many Alaskans as possible,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “Whether you’re an individual, a community leader, a business owner or in the health care field – no matter what your role – we encourage you to read this plan, make comments and take steps to improve your own health and the health of our communities.”


      Within each plan objective, there are specific evidence-based strategies and actions that are recommended to move the state closer to achieving the target. HA2030 provides a framework for partners and stakeholders who are actively engaged in improving the health of Alaskans. This collaborative planning process is intended to encourage shared ownership and responsibility for the plan’s implementation, the framework of which has been grounded in a review of national models such as Healthy People and County Health Rankings, completion of a statewide health assessment, the prioritization of health topics, objectives, and targets, and the identification of strategies and actions to reach those targets.

       

      “We strongly encourage Alaskans across the state to select two to three individual goals that they can target within their own households and spheres of influence,” said Kirsten Kolb, Chief Administrative Officer for ANTHC and member of the Healthy Alaskans Advisory Team. “Especially during these changing times, attainable areas of focus such as limiting the sugary drinks in our homes, increasing the amount of exercise we get per day and evaluating the ways we relieve stress are some of the ways these strategies can be put into action in everyone’s day-to-day lives.”

      Another way to help on an individual and corporate level is to ensure that the state health improvement plan is a complete, effective and thoroughly vetted plan by reviewing it, responding to the guiding questions and submitting your comments and any questions per the instructions in the public comment announcement.

      To learn more about Healthy Alaskans or to participate in Healthy Alaskans efforts, go to: www.healthyalaskans.org 

      ###

       

      Healthy Alaskans 2030 2020-08-12 08:00:00Z 0

      Eight Additional COVID-19 Cases Identified at the Anchorage Pioneer Home

      DHSS Press Release

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Contact:  Clinton Bennett, DHSS, 907-269-4996, clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

      Eight additional COVID-19 cases identified at the Anchorage Pioneer Home; frequent testing will continue

      August 12, 2020 ANCHORAGE— The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has confirmed eight new COVID-19 cases – seven elders and one staff member – at the Anchorage Pioneer Home. These cases are in addition to the four cases announced on August 6 bringing the total number of cases at the home to 12: 10 elders and two staff members.

      After the first positive case of COVID-19 was identified at the Anchorage Pioneer Home, testing of all residents was conducted as part of recommendations by the DHSS Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology. Employees, who are regularly tested every two weeks, also underwent another round of testing. The most recent cases involving elders are in residents living in two separate neighborhoods, with all but one of the cases being from the same neighborhood as the cases reported last week. All residents who have tested positive are currently in isolation within the home and no residents have been hospitalized at this time.

      “Since the initial COVID-19 case was discovered in the Anchorage Pioneer Home, staff and leadership have responded with increased testing and other infection control measures to quickly detect and respond to any other potential cases inside the home,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer. “It always causes us great concern when this virus makes its way into our vulnerable populations, which is why I appreciate the swift and responsive actions taken at the home to ensure all affected residents and staff are receiving proper care and monitoring.”

      The following guidance from the Section of Epidemiology is currently underway and has been expanded throughout the entire Anchorage Pioneer Home to protect all residents and employees:

      • All elders who tested positive have been placed into isolation and will have, as much as possible, dedicated staffing.
      • All employees who tested positive are self-isolating at home.
      • The Anchorage Pioneer Home continues to undergo thorough daily sanitizing of all resident rooms in the home and all common areas including doorknobs, handrails, dining areas, workspaces, rest rooms and break areas.
      • All current testing has been completed for residents living in the home and all test results are back from Pioneer Home staff.
      • Weekly resident and staff testing will continue until further notice, in addition to immediate testing of anyone who shows symptoms.

      During the pandemic, all Alaska Pioneer Homes have been continually educating staff about infection control procedures; conducting health screenings of any personnel entering the building; regularly testing employees every two weeks; immediately sending home any employee who has symptoms and requiring testing before return; screening residents daily for symptoms; and testing any residents who have any symptoms. The Anchorage Pioneer Home has been closed to visitors since March 17, 2020.

      Eight Additional COVID-19 Cases Identified at the Anchorage Pioneer Home 2020-08-12 08:00:00Z 0

      Update on the Peter Larson Memorial Garden

      After church today I checked on the flowers at Ben Walters, pulled a couple weeds and then ran over to the Peter Larson garden at the library, found these two ladies enjoying it. One of them asked the name of the bush with white flowers. I have no clue. She said she would put a picture on Facebook.
       
      Thank you to whoever did the rest of the weeding.  Looks great.  I spotted some horsetail,  it is now in the trunk of my car.
       
      Milli
       
      Image preview
       
      Image preview
       
       
      Update on the Peter Larson Memorial Garden 2020-08-05 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, July 26th Through Saturday, August 1st, 2020.

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

       

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, July 26th through Saturday, August 1st, 2020.

      Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be composed every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

       

      Highlights

      ·       Alaska continues to have rapid increases in resident and nonresident new cases. 

      ·      The biggest increase this week was in Anchorage, which had 505 new cases, or 67% of this week’s increase.

      ·      Total cases in Alaska residents rose 30% this week with 755 new cases, the most Alaska has had in a single week. 

      ·       Most new cases in Alaskans are acquired from other Alaskans who have not traveled.

      ·       Transmission between Alaskans at social gatherings, within families, at community events, churches and bars has significantly contributed to the rise in cases.

      ·       There were more than four times as many people hospitalized from COVID-19 in July as there were in June or previous months.

      ·       Cases are expected to continue to rise, although several communities have adopted more restrictions.

      ·       The majority of new cases continue to be among younger adults, particularly Alaskans in their 20s and 30s.  

      ·       The share of cases by race distribution rose by 4% among Alaska Native People, 1% among African Americans, and 1% among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders this week. Many cases continue to be under investigation, so race distribution data lags overall case counts.  

      ·       Most nonresident cases have been identified before the person had significant community interaction.

      ·       Alaskans should avoid gatherings, wear masks in public, keep six feet of distance from non-household members and practice good hand hygiene to slow transmission of COVID-19. 

       

      Correction

      The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home association has clarified that the hospital bed counts provided to the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and displayed on the Dashboard include adult and pediatric (child and teenager) staffed ICU beds but do not include NICU beds. NICU beds are used only for infants. Hospitals excluding NICU beds ensures that ICU bed counts reflect only beds that could be potentially used for adult or teenage patients who are severely or critically ill with COVID-19. Inpatient beds include all staffed inpatient beds. The total bed count includes surge capacity using all areas of the hospital. 

      Larger Outbreaks

      Defined as more than 5 people linked to a single location, workplace or event. This is a compilation of previously publicly reported outbreak events. This does not represent every instance of an outbreak or large outbreak in Alaska and is not comprehensive. Several of these outbreaks or clusters are still undergoing investigation and some data may be updated in the future as more information comes to light through ongoing efforts in contact tracing and testing.

       

      Location

      First case found

      Associated industry or setting

      # cases in outbreak

      Hospitalizations  & deaths

      OBI/Seward

      7/19

      Seafood 

      139 (of 252 workers total)

       

      Copper River Seafoods/Anchorage

      7/17

      Seafood

      76 (of 135 workers total)

       

      F/V American Triumph

      7/16

      Seafood

      85 (of 119 aboard)

      1 hospitalized

      Alaska Glacier Seafoods plant/Juneau

      7/4

      Seafood

      62 (of 150 workers total)

       

      M/V Tustumena

      6/6

      Alaska Marine Highway

      10

      1 hospitalized

      Whittier Seafoods

      6/1

      Seafood

      11

       

      PTCC

      5/29

      Elder care

      59

      5 hospitalizations, 2 deaths

      New cases

      A total of 755 new cases were identified in Alaskans and 126 new cases were identified in nonresidents, for a total of 3,280 and 704 respectively. A total of 19 Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 134 hospitalizations since the epidemic began. Four additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 24 fatalities since the epidemic began. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus. 

      Epidemic curve

      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. Currently, cases are predicted to double about every 21 days, worse than last week where cases were projected to double every 23 days. 

      For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

       

      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xu3YSCLMnktM05yJUO6Z2A6BH7U6YrrsgHJV0GdpGfCUY9IfAcCx6jHD3ds1qKTmYGgwDAyPCep3aFOKajmPVcKho98iNe01kC3ygXP4-DVWp10tbIZrGeNeoL5R2hAFrmBcZHLf

       

      Cumulative Cases by Death, Recovered, and Active Status

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/0k0gS2m0bBu5yjdp5x7P8hiwBUp6lVJBkdRi2uPsg2A2CAXRGFAUB8SV3S_jeD3kmkD-62HqUYgKkMhuTqz4LjD4wmJsAvzD_ON1aZZsTyeJiQQTVlR4ALfl7glIQnBgt9XWUBel

       

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      ·        Anchorage (505), Chugiak (7), Eagle River (21), and Girdwood (1), for a total of 534 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality. Anchorage cases alone make up 67% of this week’s cases. 

      ·        Fairbanks (35), North Pole (3), and a smaller community (1), for a total of 39 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      ·        Wasilla (39), Palmer (26), Houston (1), Willow (2), Sutton-Alpine (1), Big Lake (3), and a smaller community or communities (2) for a total of 74 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

      ·        Kenai (9), Seward (4), Soldotna (9), and Homer (11) for a total of 33 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough

      ·        Cordova (5), Valdez (3) and 2 in smaller communities or community in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, for a total of 10

      ·        Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (4)

      ·        Juneau (14)

      ·        Ketchikan (2)

      ·        Kotzebue (4) and 13 in a smaller community or communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough, for a total of 17

      ·        Sitka (4)

      ·        Yakutat plus Hoonah Census Area (4)

      ·        Bethel (2) and one in a smaller community, for 3 in Bethel Census Area 

      ·        Unalaska (2)

      ·        Utqiaġvik (5) 

      ·        Craig (2) and 2 in a smaller community or communities for a total of 4 in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 

      ·        Wrangell (3)

      ·        Kodiak (1)

      ·        Kusilvak Census Area (1)

       

      Case rates and alert levels

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. Currently, Anchorage Municipality remains in the red, having doubled its case rate from 14 to 28 in the last week. The Interior Region has improved to 7 from 29 last week, and the Northwest Region has passed it, now at 8.85, also nearly doubled from 4.7 last week and now in the high orange zone. Next, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough had 6.7 and 7.3 respectively, both declined modestly since last week. Matanuska-Susitna Borough has increased to 8.6 from 6.3 last week. Juneau City and Borough held steady at 6.7, while the southernmost Southeast Region improved from orange to yellow, with 4.3 from 5.7 last week. The northern Southeast Region is now in orange, at 7.7. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 

       

      7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/QB8oo9vrvGAkQxQy02reU47y9VX6IT7ZMJij18WZa6pvV1B2UlG0oVAEje8evGmniaQrIlcys5_pwdia4hJUUzqjE7tZ9uHFUR5H8-bjm9sWJwb96d_F7vMdvOdYued3tIujDeC4

      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The nursing home alert level map below, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. By that approach, the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks has continued to have case rates in the high alert level, with a case rate of 18; now surpassed by the Anchorage Municipality, which nearly doubled its rate in a week from 10.9 to 20.5. Fairbanks itself has improved slightly within the high orange/intermediate, at 7.2. Kenai Peninsula Borough’s rate has improved slightly to 8 from 9.6 last week. Matanuska-Susitna Borough rose to 7.25 from 5.8 and Juneau City and Borough from 5.6 to 6.7, and were joined by the Northwest Borough and the Northern and Southern Southeast Regions in the intermediate (orange) alert level, with case rates of 7.3, 5.9 and 5.0 respectively. Other regions had case rates <5. 

       

      Alaska COVID-19 Alert Levels

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/37KIk2IqgfbOwg4V8wNGUzBibnr4sQlWWaqJ1aukosBSnzHd5GZlNf0YmRqtszB34AaN99mh8ljq6igr0ijhTCDz_wvSSf6B1IJ-kSSgHygD8Y8p3-RRAr4cQnkBHEegrS-P7GoQ

      More information on alert levels is available on this page

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/aZ5TfqBB6YLQR04aiVAuV-6IuIjFbpKJuYzt59njephfsvWDsn8yMqyc-rPXZxUJ7cj_wk5Sk4nF-TeFyOV7PSYNYsr19TU2uY0__5iGyD--QOKL_4Os6c7d0l3njZE60aNDK495


       

      COVID-19 in Alaska From Sunday, July 26th Through Saturday, August 1st, 2020. 2020-08-05 08:00:00Z 0

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, July 19th Through Saturday, July 25th, 2020.

      COVID-19 Weekly Case Update

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, July 19th through Saturday, July 25th, 2020.

       Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be finalized every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

       Highlights

      • This has been Alaska’s worst week of the pandemic in terms of rapid increases in resident and nonresident new cases. 
      • Total cases in Alaska residents rose 34% this week.
      • The majority of new cases are among Alaskans aged 20-29, with cases among Alaskans in their 20s and 30s rising sharply.
      • Most nonresident cases have been identified before the person had significant community interaction, so most new cases in Alaskans are acquired from other Alaskans who have not traveled.
      • Hospital capacity is currently adequate, but hospitalizations and deaths are increasing
      • With current rates of physical distancing, face covering use and other measures to prevent transmission, cases are expected to continue to rise rapidly.
      • Alaskans should avoid large and indoor gatherings, wear face coverings in public, keep six feet of distance from non household members and practice good hand hygiene to slow transmission of COVID-19. 

      Major Outbreaks

      This is a compilation of previously publicly reported outbreak events. It is not comprehensive and does not represent every instance of an outbreak (defined as more than 5 people linked to a single location, workplace or event) in Alaska. A significant number of outbreaks are associated with private social gatherings and social events. Please note that dates and numbers may evolve as more information comes to light through ongoing efforts in contact tracing and testing. 

      LocationFirst case identifiedAssociated industry# cases in outbreakHospitalizations  & deaths
      OBI/Seward7/19Seafood 139 (of ~252 workers total)1 hospitalized
      Copper River Seafoods/Anchorage7/17Seafood76 (of ~135 workers total) 
      F/V American Triumph7/16Seafood85 (of ~119 aboard)1 hospitalized
      Alaska Glacier Seafoods plant/Juneau7/4Seafood62 (of ~150 workers total) 
      M/V Tustumena6/6Alaska Marine Highway101 hospitalized
      PTCC5/29Elder care595 hospitalizations, 2 deaths

      New cases

      This week saw 653 new cases in Alaskans and 171 in nonresidents, for a total of 2,524 and 574 respectively. 16 Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 115 since the epidemic began. Two additional deaths were reported this week, for a total of 20. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus. 

       Epidemic curve

      This analysis projects growth or reduction in cases predicted in the coming weeks based on the growth of cases in recent weeks. The most recent 7 days (grey bars) are not included because there can be a delay in reporting data. This model assumes exponential growth or reduction in cases and can be a useful tool to visualize how quickly cases are increasing or decreasing. This curve does not project what might happen if more people start wearing masks or increase physical distancing; it assumes Alaskans and visitors to Alaska do not change their behavior. The dotted line is the average prediction, and the grey shaded area is estimated error for the predicted rise in cases. Currently, cases are predicted to double about every 23 days, improved from last week where cases were projected to double every 18 days. For a full description of methods, visit https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

      photo1

      Cumulative Cases by Death, Recovered, and Active Status

       

      photo2

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      • Anchorage (416), Chugiak (6), Eagle River (7), and Girdwood (1), for a total of 430 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality
      • Fairbanks (51), North Pole (8), and Ester (1), for a total of 60 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
      • Wasilla (30), Palmer (11), Houston (1), Sutton-Alpine (1), and Big Lake (1) for a total of 44 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
      • Kenai (8), Seward (11), Soldotna (6), Homer (4), Sterling (2) and smaller communities (3), for a total of 34 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
      • Cordova (3) and 19 in smaller communities or community in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, for a total of 22
      • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (13)
      • Juneau (13)
      • Ketchikan (8)
      • Kotzebue (2) and 4 in a smaller community or communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough, for a total of 6
      • Sitka (4)
      • Yakutat plus Hoonah Census Area (3)
      • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area (2)
      • Bethel Census Area (2)
      • Unalaska (2)
      • Utqiagvik (1) and 1 in a smaller community, for 2 total in the North Slope Borough
      • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (1)
      • Wrangell (1)
      • Nome Census Area (1)
      • Haines (1)
      • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Census Area (1)
      • Denali Borough (1)
      • Aleutians East Borough (1)

      Case rates and alert levels

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. Currently, the Interior region with the exception of Fairbanks North Star Borough has the highest new case rates in Alaska, averaging 29 new cases daily per 100,000 people, nearly double its rate from last week. The Anchorage Municipality has joined it in the red zone with a case rate of 14, up sharply from 9 last week. Next, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough had 8.5 and 9.3 respectively, both declined modestly since last week, while Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Juneau City and Borough and the southernmost Southeast region have joined them in orange, with 6.3, 6.7, and 5.7 respectively. The Northwest region is also rising within the yellow category, with a 4.7 rate currently. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 

      7-day Case Rate Map (cases per 100,000 people)

       

      photo3

      Because of Alaska’s unique geography and smaller population, a 14 day case rate can also be useful. The nursing home alert level map below, designed to help long term facilities decide when it may be safer to allow visitors in their facilities, uses a 14 day case rate approach. By that approach, the Interior Region excluding Fairbanks has continued to have rising case rates in the high alert level, with a case rate of 19. Fairbanks itself has come out of the red high alert level to high orange/intermediate, at 9.7. Kenai Peninsula Borough’s rate has risen slightly to 9.6 from 9.3 last week, while Anchorage Municipality has entered the red high alert level with a rate of 10.9. Both Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Juneau City and Borough have entered the intermediate (orange) alert level, with case rates of 5.8 and 5.6 respectively. Other regions had case rates <5. 

      Alaska COVID-19 Alert Levels

      photo4

      More information on alert levels is available on this page

      photo5

      How Alaskans acquired COVID-19

      DHSS monitors how people most likely got the virus. In green in the plot below are Alaska residents who acquired COVID-19 by traveling to other states or countries. In March, a substantial proportion of our cases were related to Alaskans returning from elsewhere, while in April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled. Since June, as travel has started to increase, cases in Alaskans related to travel have begun to occur more regularly. 

      In blue below are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 from a known contact. These are people who did not leave the state, but we could trace their illness back to the person they got it from. The goal is for contact tracing to identify each of these cases where someone got it from someone else they had contact with so they can let all other contacts of both people know to quarantine. As contact tracing expanded in May, more cases from contacts were identified.

      In red, however, are cases where Alaskans got COVID-19 and contact tracing was not able to establish a clear source. This demonstrates that there are other cases in our communities that we have not found yet. The biggest increase in cases in Alaska has been in people aged 20-39, with many cases linked to bars and social gatherings.

      Grey bars show the cases where the investigation has not yet concluded. Since the workload for contact tracers has more than doubled in the last few weeks, they are working as fast as possible to identify and quarantine contacts. Alaskans can help contact tracers move faster and prevent more cases by keeping their contact list small, keeping a diary of who they are in close contact with (defined as within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more), wearing cloth face coverings when around any non-household members or in public, and responding promptly to being contacted. 

      photo6

       
       
      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, July 19th Through Saturday, July 25th, 2020. 2020-07-29 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: June 13-19, 2020

      Alaska DHSS signup page

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: June 13-19, 2020

      Alaska DHSS sent this bulletin at 06/22/2020 08:59 PM AKDT

      The purpose of this email newsletter is to help provide better context to Alaska's case count data. Please note that the cases described here are from the past week and do not reflect current totals.  We plan on publishing this communication weekly. 

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Saturday, June 13 through Friday, June 19, 2020

      New cases

      This week saw 91 new cases in Alaskans and 34 in nonresidents, for a total of 743 and 104 respectively. No additional deaths were reported this week. 9 Alaskans were reported to require hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 61 since the epidemic began. 

      Communities affected this week 

      New additional cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      • Anchorage (26), Chugiak (1), Eagle River (3) and Girdwood (1), for a total of 31 new cases and 346 overall in the Anchorage Municipality
      • Homer (4), Kenai (1), South Kenai Peninsula Borough (2) and Soldotna (4), for a total of 11 new cases and 119 overall in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
      • Kodiak (1), for a total of 3 cases overall in the Kodiak Island Borough
      • Fairbanks (15) and North Pole (7), for a total of 22 new cases and 114 overall in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
      • Big Lake (2), Palmer (6) and Wasilla (3), for a total of 11 new cases and 54 overall in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
      • North Slope Borough (2), for a total of 3 cases overall
      • Haines (1), for a total of 2 cases overall in the Haines Borough
      • Juneau (2), for a total of 39 cases overall in Juneau City and Borough
      • Ketchikan (2), for a total of 21 cases overall in Ketchikan Gateway Borough
      • Sitka (3), for a total of 11 cases overall in Sitka City and Borough
      • Wrangell (1), for a total of 3 cases overall in Wrangell City and Borough
      • Bethel Census Area (2), for a total of 6 cases overall
      • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula (1), for a total of 2 cases overall

      This week, there were no new cases in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Bureau (which has had 3 cases overall), Nome Census Area (5 cases overall), Northwest Arctic Borough (4 cases overall), Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (2 cases overall) and Petersburg Borough (4 cases overall). 

      Nonresident cases

      Of the 34 nonresident cases identified this week, 11 were in the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, 7 were in Anchorage, 3 in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, 3 in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, 3 in Fairbanks North Star Borough, two in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area and one each in Sitka City and Borough, Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Nome and Aleutians East Census Area. Currently, one nonresident has a location not yet recorded. 

      Recovered cases

      This week, 59 Alaskans were released from isolation following their COVID-19 diagnosis, for a total of 464, or 62% of total cases. 

      Testing update

      By Friday evening, 86,918 tests had been conducted. 14,510 of them were performed this week, with an average positive rate of around 0.7%. This was the second full week of traveler testing, with testing capabilities expanding at points of entry to Alaska, including by air, land and sea. Travelers arriving to Alaska by any mode of transportation are required to complete a 14 day quarantine or test negative for COVID-19. 

      Tourism, visitors and airport testing

      This week saw 12,044 travelers screened at airports entering Alaska. Complete data were immediately available for 11,084 arrivals. Of those, 4,237 (38%) had opted to pre-test within 72 hours of arrival and 4,894 (44%) chose to be tested on entry to Alaska. The remaining 1953 (18%) selected the 14 day quarantine option. 13 new cases were discovered through airport arrival testing, for a test positivity rate of 0.27%. 

      Of the 34 cases in nonresidents this week, 7 were linked with tourism or visiting, including 2 in Ketchikan, 1 in Sitka City and Borough, 2 in Fairbanks North Star Borough, and 2 in Anchorage. 

      Nursing homes

      One additional case was found after retesting all residents and staff at the Providence Transitional Care Center, for a total of 46 cases among 19 residents and 27 caregivers. A fourth round of testing was completed this week, with results pending. 

      Last week, after an employee at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home tested positive for COVID-19, all residents and staff were tested. Those tests have all been completed and all results were negative. Testing of residents and staff members at the other Pioneer Homes is also underway. In addition to the standard practice of testing any staff member or resident who has any symptoms or who has come in contact with a known COVID-19 case, the feasibility of testing staff every two weeks is being evaluated.

      Ketchikan

      A traveler arriving in Ketchikan caused widespread concern after they were found to have attended multiple social gatherings prior to receiving a positive test result from a swab taken on arrival. Contact tracing is ongoing and contacts will quarantine for 14 days, while some sports practices were cancelled, an office was closed and many others in the community were negatively impacted. This illustrates the importance of quarantining until any traveler results are received. Because Alaska’s approach to controlling COVID-19 depends on Alaskans and visitors assuming personal responsibility, everyone has a role in following health mandates and guidance to protect our communities. Local emergency response leaders are coping with community frustration while ensuring COVID-19 patients are safe and supported with medical care. 

      Seafood industry

      Of 34 nonresident cases total identified this week, 21 are in workers in the seafood industry, including 5 in Anchorage, 11 in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, 1 in Aleutians East Census Area, 1 in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, 1 in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, 1 in Ketchikan Gateway Borough and 1 with location not specified. 

      Other industries

      Other nonresidents who were found to have COVID-19 work in the mining industry (1 in Fairbanks North Star Borough and 3 in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area), while one case in Nome and one in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area were in nonresidents here to work in other occupations.

      Three Alaskans in Fairbanks found to have COVID-19 this week work in healthcare, while six cases in one household were found at Fort Wainwright. 

      Reporting of deaths due to COVID-19

      12 Alaskans are reported as having died from COVID-19, meaning that the virus was listed as one of up to four conditions on their death certificate that contributed to their death. This follows federal reporting conventions that require doctors to list multiple contributing causes for a patient’s death. Only conditions that contribute to the person’s passing may be listed on a death certificate, so if a person has COVID-19 at the time of their death but it did not contribute to their death, COVID-19 could not be listed on their death certificate and their passing would not be included in the count of Alaskans who had died from COVID-19. 

      Data timeliness and accuracy

      Weekly summaries are published early the following week because that gives the state public health workforce time to collect data, verify its accuracy, make sure cases have not been counted in multiple places and verify patient identities. This summary is designed to more accurately summarize the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard, which displays data as it was collected in the past 24 hours as well as maintaining a record of available data since the pandemic began. The dashboard data occasionally change as new information is received or as cases are reclassified once verification takes place, since this process takes time and case counts sometimes change with more information. 

      Further information

      Please see the State of Alaska COVID-19 information page for more information about the virus and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves and others from transmission. 

      For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard. Some data may change as more information comes to light through contact tracing and other public health work. 

      For questions regarding DHSS COVID response, including mandates and alerts, email covidquestions@alaska.gov. Since DHSS is experiencing a high volume of inquiries, the Frequently Asked Questions webpage can often be the quickest route to an answer regarding testing, travel, health mandates and other COVID-19 information. 

      For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov.

      ###

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: June 13-19, 2020 2020-07-29 08:00:00Z 0

      5 Questions About Environmental Projects
       

      with
      Karen Kendrick-Hands
      Communications director, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG)
       
      1. How does the environment fit into Rotary’s areas of focus?
       
      Any project in any area of focus will benefit from having environmental sustainability as one of its watchwords. It’s a lot harder to supply clean water to people if your watershed is compromised— if your river is full of industrial, human, and animal waste. Basic education and literacy is a challenge when kids are sick because the school well is contaminated. Health is affected when insects carrying diseases expand their geographic range due to changing climate patterns. Water wars and climate refugees will make achieving peace and conflict resolution more complicated. Economic development is slowed when there’s not adequate energy. Rotary would do a huge service to the world if it moved every water project from a diesel pump to wind or solar. That’s a project that’s scalable.
       
      2. Why did ESRAG publish a handbook with environmental project ideas?
       
      A lot of people say they’d like to do an environmental project, but they don’t know where to start. Or they may already be doing something in their community that they didn’t even realize was an environmental project — like adopting a highway or organizing an electronic waste recycling drive — and the handbook, which we worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to create in 2019, helps educate them about the broad range of projects that help the environment. Other people say they need an idea that will inspire their clubs. I was astonished at the wide variety of project ideas we were able to gather and present in the handbook.
       
      3. Can you describe some of the project suggestions?
       
      We looked to address topics that we thought were important, topics that fit well with existing areas of focus, and topics that expanded Rotary clubs’ reach into the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Six of the 17 goals don’t currently fit under one of Rotary’s areas of focus — things like affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption and production. The back cover is a sample press release. It’s a reminder that sharing our story builds the brand and creates momentum for more service.
       
      4. What inspired ESRAG’s collaboration with UNEP?
       
      In 2018, Rotary Day at the United Nations was celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya, and UNEP, which is based there, helped host the event. Rotary and UNEP decided to work together to create a handbook for Rotary clubs that want to participate in World Environment Day, which is 5 June. ESRAG worked with UNEP on the handbook. It starts with a joint statement from former RI Presidents Barry Rassin and Mark Daniel Maloney. We were thrilled to have that endorsement and hope this can be the start of more collaboration between Rotary and UNEP.
       
      5. Are Rotarians getting more involved in environmental projects?
       
      I was invited by Rotary staff earlier this year to help put together a survey to gauge interest in environmental projects throughout the Rotary world. We had some input from the Climate Solutions Coalition, which is a youth movement within ESRAG. We sent out the survey link in a newsletter on 23 January. We had to get all the results in by 31 January. In that brief time, we got over 5,000 completed surveys back. I think that shows there is a lot of pent-up demand. People interested in environmental solutions could go out and work with other groups, and many Rotarians do. But what we’re seeing is a real desire to do their environmental work within the Rotary framework. That’s a valuable future asset for Rotary. We have no idea of the members it will attract, the purse strings that will be loosened. With the people who will be the next generation of Rotary, the future is clear.
       
      — DIANA SCHOBERG
       
      • Download your copy of the ESRAG-UNEP handbook at esrag.org/esrag-unep-handbook.
      • Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
      • This story originally appeared in the July 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      5 Questions About Environmental Projects  2020-07-29 08:00:00Z 0

      Philippine Club Mobilizes Transportation for Frontline Coronavirus Health Workers

      COVID-19 forces lockdown on public transportation in Manila. Members bring vans, accommodations for hospital and lab workers.
       
      By Ryan Hyland
       
      It didn’t take long for members of the Rotary Club of Makati West to take action once the deadly coronavirus entered the country. Shortly after the local government announced the first case of COVID-19 in January, the club in Makati City, Philippines, called a series of emergency meetings to quickly assemble resources and direct aid.
       
      "The pandemic was a battle cry for our club,” says club president Enrico Tensuan. “We are Rotary, and with that comes problem-solving. We focused our efforts on how to bring immediate assistance to frontline health workers.” A surge in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, led to a government-mandated lockdown starting 15 March. On the island of Luzon, home to half of the Philippines’ population, the new rules closed most businesses and shut down public transit.
       
      As a result, many health workers and other essential employees faced daunting commutes to their jobs — up to two hours each way on foot, Tensuan says.
       
      "At times like this, even the smallest of gestures can make a big difference."
      Enrico Tensuan, president of the Rotary Club of Makati West, Philippines
       
      In response to the need for safe transportation, club member Elmer Francisco — chief executive and chair of Francisco Motor Corp. and 1111 Empire Inc., which manufactures jeeps and other vehicles — donated 10 vans to transport frontline health workers to hospitals in and around Makati and the capital city, Manila. Francisco coordinated with officials at the Department of Transportation to obtain permits to operate the fleet and plan the most convenient routes for riders.
      Since March, the vans, which carry up to 30 passengers each, have operated 24 hours each day from four designated pickup spots and local hospitals, including the Philippine General Hospital, one of the country’s biggest health care facilities.
       
      The club paid for the fuel, and members handed out snacks to exhausted passengers. In addition, the initiative paid the salaries of 17 drivers, all of whom had temporarily lost their public utility jobs because of the transit shutdown. The club expects the project to operate at least until the end of May.
       
      “The dedication of these frontline workers and our drivers is awe-inspiring,” Francisco says. “Walking two hours each way is simply unforgiving. They are already risking their lives fighting COVID-19. This was necessary to keeping them safe.”
      Hospital workers in the Philippines are being transported for free to and from work thanks to an initiative by the Rotary Club Makati West, Philippines.
       
      One of the transportation drivers fuels up a van provided by the Rotary Club of Makati West, Philippines. The club paid for fuel and the salary of more than a dozen drivers.
       
      The Rotary Club of Makati West, Philippines, and member Elmer Francisco donated more than 10 vans to help give free transportation for frontline healthcare workers in and around Manilia.
       
      Helping lab employees shelter near work Members of the Makati West club also worked to provide lodging for medical professionals. They helped secure 30 days of accommodations at area motels for nearly 50 lab technicians and workers at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, which conducts COVID-19 tests. The employees work long hours and the nearby facilities provide much-needed relief, Tensuan says
      .
      The club planned to pay for the rooms, but local officials, inspired by the club’s actions, funded the workers’ monthlong stay. Members prepared bags of toiletries and snacks for institute workers and motel employees. “They were small bags with just a few things, but they brought big smiles. At times like this, even the smallest of gestures can make a big difference,” Tensuan says.
       
      The club also raised funds for Fashion for Frontliners, an effort by a group of fashion designers in the Philippines who have produced thousands of items of much-needed personal protection equipment (PPE) for hospital workers. And club members have donated thousands of dollars’ worth of PPE, including masks, gloves, and gowns, using Francisco’s fleet of vehicles to deliver the equipment to hospitals. Tensuan, who leases properties, personally donated three laundry machines to the Philippine General Hospital so that workers can wash their clothes and PPE.
       
      “I’m proud of how our club responded so far,” Tensuan says. “But we have a long way to go. We will use our club’s resources for as long as the virus is a threat.”
      Philippine Club Mobilizes Transportation for Frontline Coronavirus Health Workers 2020-07-22 08:00:00Z 0

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: July 12- July 18, 2020

      Alaska DHSS signup page

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: July 12- July 18, 2020

      Alaska DHSS sent this bulletin at 07/21/2020 06:43 PM AKDT

      This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Sunday, July 12th through Saturday, July 18th, 2020. 

      Background

      The Alaska COVID-19 Weekly Case Update will be finalized every weekend with data from the previous week and the report will be published by the following Wednesday. Data are continually updated on the AK DHSS Data Hub, which reflects the most current case counts. This summary presents data from the previous week and is a snapshot of the information available on known cases at the time. 

      Highlights

      · Total cases in Alaska residents have risen by more than a quarter in this week alone

      ·  We see community transmission occurring in almost every business type that involves in-person interaction

      ·  Alaskans are acquiring the virus from many types of social gatherings: backyard barbecues, funerals, weddings, children's sporting events, camps, churches and any time groups gather with others outside their household

      ·  Fairbanks has had very high rates of test positivity, reflecting widespread community transmission

      ·   The majority of new cases are among Alaskans aged 20-29, with cases among Alaskans in their 20s and 30s rising sharply

      ·  Most nonresident cases have been identified before the person had significant community interaction, so most new cases in Alaskans are acquired from other Alaskans who have not traveled

      ·  Hospital capacity remains adequate

      ·  With current rates of physical distancing, face covering use and other measures to prevent transmission, cases are expected to continue to rise rapidly 

      ·  Alaskans should avoid gatherings with non-household members, wear face coverings in public, keep six feet of distance from non household members and practice good hand hygiene to slow transmission of COVID-19 

      New cases

      This week saw 399 new cases in Alaskans and 104 in nonresidents, for a total of 1,874 and 403 respectively. 6 Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 99 since the epidemic began. One additional death was reported this week, for a total of 18. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus. 

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/b7gelACCcH2KZ8xPceQ1LJMl1sjmle2y-stto5mWOsGVivFUMlOprEVTmC4fk2BeQbvf_impiCA6sRMt9XGKfftBLJCSZSWrPB2JkgPlNun8hA48czBoBpEcs-AJ-fMdpwIgjgVQ

      Communities affected this week 

      New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

      ·         Anchorage (184), Chugiak (6), Eagle River (14), and Girdwood (1), for a total of 205 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality

      ·         Fairbanks (58) and North Pole (6), for a total of 64 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      ·         Kenai (5), Seward (7), Soldotna (18), Homer (2), Nikiski (2), Sterling (2) and smaller communities (4), for a total of 40 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough

      ·         Wasilla (28), Palmer (7), Willow (1), Sutton-Alpine (1), and Meadow Lakes (1) for a total of 37 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

      ·         Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (16)

      ·         Juneau (11)

      ·         Valdez-Cordova Census Area (9)

      ·         Utqiagvik (2)

      ·         Ketchikan (2)

      ·         Sitka (2)

      ·         Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Census Area (2)

      ·         Kotzebue (1) and one in a smaller community, for a total of 2 new cases in the Northwest Arctic Borough

      ·         Bethel (1) and one in a smaller community, for a total of 2 new cases in the Bethel Census Area

      ·         Southeast Fairbanks Census Area (1)

      ·         Nome Census Area (1)

      ·         Haines (1)

      ·         Kusilvak Census Area (1)

      ·         Kodiak (1)

       Case rates and alert levels

      The 7 day case rate map depicts cases adjusted by population for a given region (cases per 100,000 people). The regions are large because Alaska is a large state with few densely populated centers, so this case rate can only be meaningful across large regions. Currently, the Interior region with the exception of Fairbanks North Star Borough has the highest new case rates in Alaska, averaging 15.8 new cases daily per 100,000 people. Next, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough and Anchorage Municipality had 9.4, 9.8 and 9.0 new cases daily per 100,000 people this week.  Juneau City and Borough has the next highest rates, at 4.91. Most states use a 7 day case rate per 100,000 population to estimate trends in community transmission. Roughly, rates of >10 cases daily per 100,000 population correspond to widespread community transmission and >5 to moderate community transmission, but a sharp increase or decrease in these rates can help predict how the next week or weeks will look for the region. 

      COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: July 12- July 18, 2020 2020-07-22 08:00:00Z 0

      The Rotarian Conversation: Marc Freedman

      This longevity expert has found that both younger and older people thrive when they work together with a common purpose — something Rotarians know a lot about
       
      While visiting a Rotary club in Sacramento, California, Marc Freedman was struck by the diversity of the group — in age as well as ethnicity. “There were so many barriers being bridged around this common sense of purpose,” he says. “It’s one of the reasons I love Rotary. So much of society has sorted itself into highly age-segregated arrangements. Rotary and other like-minded groups are resisting that trend and creating spaces where people of all generations can work together for the greater good.”
       
      Freedman is the kind of person who would notice that. Named a Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economic Forum in 2014 and featured by AARP the Magazine in 2012 among its “50 over 50” influencers, he is one of the leading experts in the United States on the longevity revolution and the transformation of retirement.
       
      Freedman is founder and CEO of Encore.org, a nonprofit focused on bridging generational divides and making “encore careers” for retirement-age workers a new social norm. He’s also co-founder of what is now AARP Experience Corps, a program that brings volunteer tutors age 50 and over together with students in kindergarten through third grade who are struggling to read. Researchers have found that the support of these volunteers has a beneficial effect on the children equivalent to a 40 percent reduction in class size; referrals for behavior problems have also gone down 30 to 50 percent. There are advantages for the adults as well; studies have found that the volunteers experienced physical benefits such as less arthritis pain and better blood sugar control. The program, a 2014 Atlantic article noted, “dusted off the cobwebs in their brains.”
      Freedman, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, spoke with senior staff writer Diana Schoberg about his most recent book, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.

      THE ROTARIAN: What do connections across generations provide that connections within your own age group don’t?
       
      FREEDMAN: There’s a growing appreciation of connections in general these days, fostered by the awareness of how profound the problem of loneliness is in America and elsewhere. People need a variety of connections — with their peers as well as across generations.
       
      A Harvard study found that relationships are the key to happiness throughout adulthood. It shows that older people who connect with younger people are three times as likely to be happy as those who fail to do so. Why is that bond so important? One reason is that as we reach the time in our lives when there are fewer years ahead of us than behind us, it’s a great comfort to know that what we’ve learned is likely to live on in younger friends and family members.
       
      TR: What are the benefits of these relationships for children?
       
      FREEDMAN: On an emotional level, the needs of older and younger people fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When I started my career, I spent years working on kids’ issues. I didn’t have any background in aging or gerontology. But I was struck by how important the presence of caring adults is for the well-being of young people, particularly young people who are growing up in economic hardship.
       
      Urie Bronfenbrenner, who was one of the great child psychologists of the 20th century and who co-founded Head Start, was asked what he had learned from decades of studying children’s development. He said that every child needs at least one adult to be irrationally crazy about them. I think he captured something fundamental. Young people need love and support from adults — not just from their own parents, but from other adults in the community. And as we get older, we also need to be irrationally crazy about young people. It’s a key source of happiness, according to research, and it’s something that we get better at as we age. The skills that are required to build and sustain relationships blossom in later life, as do emotional regulation and even the drive to connect.
       
      TR: In your book, you write about the physical benefits of these kinds of connections, such as decreased rates of diabetes and arthritis in older people. What are some other benefits that might be surprising?
       
      FREEDMAN: I was involved in creating Experience Corps, a national service program that recruits older people to serve in low-income elementary schools, helping kids learn to read. One of the discoveries we’ve made along the way is that this intersection between purpose and connection is incredibly important for well-being, especially as we grow older.
       
      We found with Experience Corps that having responsibility and a place to go several days a week forces older people to be more physically active — they have to get out of their homes and to the schools. And purposeful activity, particularly with young people, involves a lot of learning. Explaining and teaching things to younger people helps keep older people’s minds active. There is now research from Johns Hopkins University that suggests being involved in programs like Experience Corps can offset some of the things that predispose people to dementia.
       
      And then there’s our spiritual health — the idea that we’re living a life that still matters, rather than heeding signals from society that older people should head prematurely to the sidelines.
       
      TR: How has our ability to connect with each other been affected by the social distancing that COVID-19 has required?
       
      FREEDMAN: Social distancing has exacerbated the loneliness epidemic, which is also a public health crisis, contributing to millions of “deaths of despair” globally every year. But this period of sheltering at home helps us all develop a deeper empathy for those who are isolated most of the time. Suddenly, many millions of people are experiencing the kind of loneliness that had been reserved for much smaller numbers.
       
      When social distancing ends, I believe we’ll have a newfound appreciation for face-to-face connection. Sure, we’ve learned to use tools like Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts — and they help. But we’ll also see that virtual connection is no substitute for the real thing.
       
      TR: Is our society more segregated by age than it used to be? If so, how did that come about?
       
      FREEDMAN: It happened in waves. In the United States, the first wave came during the Progressive era, as we enacted child labor laws and universal schooling. All of a sudden, young people were grouped together in educational institutions entirely geared to them. Social Security had the effect of getting older people out of the workforce, which in turn helped create a whole set of institutions geared toward older people. It was all seen as being a more efficient way to organize society.
       
      None of that happened for nefarious reasons. We just thought it was going to be more efficient to put children in schools and to get older people into settings where we felt we could more effectively address their needs, like senior centers and nursing homes and retirement communities. Then we were left with workplaces occupied by all the adults in the middle. And the twain stopped meeting. For all the benefits, something profound — an essential part of the human experience — was lost along the way.
       
      In 1949, United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther got up in front of the union and described retirees as too old to work, too young to die. People were ashamed to be elderly. So real estate developers created places for them to go where they would be apart from the rest of society and wouldn’t have to deal with that stigma. They could pretend they were young in a society that glorifies youth. In retirement communities like Sun City, Arizona, everybody was old, so nobody was old. You could pretend you were a kid again. The weekend Sun City opened, 100,000 people showed up. There was a traffic jam for 2 miles.
       
      What we’re seeing now is a wave of social innovation that’s essentially trying to find new ways to do old things. And that’s terrific. But Rotary has been doing it all along. That’s an extraordinary credit to the organization. It is among the few places in American society where older and younger people can come together to work for the common good. It’s a place where people get a sense of the cycle of life and some relief from this radical age segregation that has been so prevalent for the past century.
       
      TR: Is age segregation a problem in other parts of the world as well?
       
      FREEDMAN: It’s a global issue, and there is a global community of innovators who are working to bring generations together and to create societies where what’s natural is once again normal.
       
      Probably the most ambitious effort is in Singapore, where the government is spending over $2 billion on an aging action plan, including creating a “Kampong for All Ages”—kampong being the Malay word for village. New senior centers and preschools are being situated together. New intergenerational housing is being designed. They’re building playgrounds that are designed to bring older and younger people together. They’ve created a volunteer corps of older people focused on helping children. They are trying to reorganize society to demonstrate that the generations can not only get along; they can be invaluable to each other.
       
      One of my favorite examples is happening in the United Kingdom. At age 57, Lucy Kellaway, a columnist at the Financial Times, announced that she was going to quit her job to become a math teacher in a low-income London school. She was inspired by her daughter, who was in the British equivalent of Teach for America. Kellaway challenged her readers of a certain age to quit their jobs and join her as math and science teachers, and 1,000 people signed up for what she calls Now Teach. It has really affected how older people in the UK think about their future.
       
      In Finland, an effort to create “communal grandparents” came out of the realization that many grandparents and their grandchildren do not live near each other. And many older people don’t have their own grandchildren. So they had the idea of creating grandparent/grandchild-like bonds among people who aren’t related to each other.
       
      These experiments are part of an attempt to rethink relationships between older and younger people in a world that is aging rapidly. In the United States, 2019 was the first year that we had more people over 60 than under 18, and that trend is going to continue. We need to think about how to organize society in ways that not only mitigate the challenges of these new demographics, but take advantage of some of the opportunities they present.
       
      TR: What can Rotarians do to promote connections between the generations?
       
      FREEDMAN: There are opportunities for older and younger people to come together around projects that benefit the future well-being of humanity. Young people have an interest in that, because that’s the world they’re going to inhabit. And as we get older and come face to face with our own mortality, one of the central ways to address the fact that we don’t live on and on is to help create a better future.
       
      I know from reading and seeing the projects that Rotary is working on — like climate change and water issues — that many of the priorities that are core to Rotary’s social mission are ones that older and younger people can come together around and bring their unique skills to help address.
       
      TR: How can we create programs that bring generations together to the greatest effect?
       
      FREEDMAN: Establish programs that create the opportunity to build real relationships through working together around a shared purpose. Ongoing, consistent, and mutual efforts are going to have the biggest payoff. Opportunities for older Rotarians to work with young people on issues of high priority to Rotary and its members will offer some of the deepest rewards.
       
      TR: If you could create a world where relationships between people of different generations are the best they could be, what would that look like?
       
      FREEDMAN: We would have to reorganize our daily life in ways that prize cross-generational proximity and purpose. One example is to create age-integrated housing. Another is to bring together institutions currently aimed at separate age groups into mutually beneficial collaboration, such as preschools combined with senior centers. We would need to encourage people of different ages to be in the workplace together, and we would have to reassess the nature of education. There is a movement on university campuses where people in their 60s and 70s are coming back to school in programs designed to help them launch the next phase of their lives. One of the great side benefits is that they generate interaction between older people and the young people they take classes with.
       
      One of the stories I told in the book still has a grip on me. It’s an example from Judson Manor in Cleveland, an upscale retirement community in a beautiful 1920s building near the Case Western Reserve University campus. Judson started housing graduate students in music and art for free in return for the students’ performing concerts and doing art projects with the residents. The exchange ended up producing extraordinary cross-generational relationships. When a young violist who spent time living at Judson got married, for example, she asked her 90-something neighbor to be in their wedding party. They had formed a deep bond. Proximity and purpose yet again! When you create those kinds of opportunities, very powerful things start happening.
       
      • Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
       
      • This story originally appeared in the July 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      The Rotarian Conversation: Marc Freedman D Schoberg 2020-07-15 08:00:00Z 0

      Young at Heart

      Holger Knaack has a fresh vision for the Rotary of the future. With a little help from his friends, things should go swimmingly
      The Küchensee, one of Ratzeburg’s four lakes, provides a scenic backdrop for lunch with Holger’s sister, Barbara (left), and Susanne’s sister, Sabine (right).
       
      Holger Knaack is vacuuming.
       
      The Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln in Germany has wrapped up its annual Christmas bazaar in the cloister of the 12th-century Ratzeburg Cathedral. Two days of selling handicrafts, mistletoe, and homemade cakes and cookies have netted the club some 8,000 euros, which this year will go to a German nonprofit that supports children who are critically ill. As the club members break down booths and put away tables and chairs, Knaack grabs the vacuum cleaner and, head down in concentration, tackles the crumbs, dirt, and bits of tinsel that litter the floor.
      At this moment, Knaack is president-elect of Rotary International, preparing to take office on 1 July 2020. But at the same time he’s a regular Rotarian, a 27-year member of his club, pitching in like everybody else. “He just wants to be one friend among friends,” says club member Barbara Hardkop.
       
      There’s a German phrase: man holt die Leute ins Boot. It means getting people on board to work together toward a common goal. In the coming year, Rotarians will find that Holger Knaack is not one to stand on the sidelines while others do the work. But equally important for Knaack is the philosophy that working hard doesn’t mean you can’t also have a good time. As he spends this year getting people on board — especially to carry out his highest priority, investing in young people — he will also be doing his best to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
       
      “It’s a basic principle with Holger,” says his longtime friend Hubertus Eichblatt, a fellow club member. “When we get together, it has to be fun.”
      Holger Knaack, Rotary International’s 2020-21 president. “He looks youthful,” says a friend. “He is youthful!”
       
      Holger Knaack is an atypical Rotary president, and not just because he wears jeans and eschews ties much of the time. He’s the organization’s first German president, and he came to that position in untraditional fashion. Unlike many of his predecessors, he didn’t rise step by step through the ranks of Rotary offices. He served as club president and district governor, but he had held only one Rotary International post, that of training leader, before becoming director. And he remembers being at a Rotary institute where people asked him what other district offices he had held before becoming governor. “I said, ‘None. None.’ All of them were very surprised,” he recalls.
       
      What Knaack is most known for is his involvement in Rotary’s Youth Exchange program. That experience is deep, broad, and extraordinarily meaningful to him and his wife, Susanne. They have no children of their own, but they have opened their home — and their hearts — to dozens of students. “The Knaack house is always full of guests, especially young people,” says Helmut Knoth, another friend and member of Holger’s club. “They’ve had hundreds of guests over the years.”
       
      Shortly after joining his Rotary club in 1992, Knaack helped out with a camp for short-term Youth Exchange students in northern Germany. He was immediately hooked. “I thought it was a really great program,” he says. “This is something, you’d say in German, wo dein Herz aufgeht: Your heart opens. Whenever you talk to the young people, they’ll tell you, ‘It was the best time in my life.’ Sometimes I think they are surprised about themselves, about what they are able to do, and about the possibilities that are open to them through Rotary.”
       
      The opportunities opened for Knaack, as well. He became Youth Exchange chair for his club, and after serving as governor of District 1940 in 2006-07, he was asked to chair the German Multi-District Youth Exchange, a position he held until the day before he started his term on Rotary’s Board of Directors in 2013. Along the way, he notes, he always relied on other people. “You develop a vision together, and then let’s go ahead,” he says. “Everybody’s going a little different way; there’s never just one road. But the goal should be the same.”
       
      Young people seem to intuitively understand Knaack’s way of doing things. “Holger has a vision, and he is executing on that vision,” says Brittany Arthur, a member of the Rotaract Club of Berlin and the Rotary Club of Berlin International. “And you recognize that this vision is not new for him. Holger and Susanne have had dozens of Youth Exchange students. Do you think they did all that so that in 2020 he could say, ‘We need to invest in youth’? This is who they are.”
       
      Arthur also sees Knaack as unusual in his willingness to invest in “potential, not experience.” In 2012, as an Australian Ambassadorial Scholar in Germany, she had a brief exchange with him at a club meeting. That led to her speaking about her “Rotary moment” at a Berlin peace forum sponsored by 2012-13 RI President Sakuji Tanaka. After her presentation, she thought she was done. But Knaack, who had organized the forum and was now putting together a Rotary institute, had other ideas. “I had just finished speaking to hundreds of Rotarians,” she recalls. “I was feeling so great, and he said, ‘Do you want to help with the institute?’ and I said, ‘Yes!’”
       
      Like other Rotarians, Arthur perceives the depth of Knaack’s persuasive personality. “He’s super funny and nice, but he’s dead serious when it comes to certain things. Which is why he’s such an interesting leader: He can show up on so many different levels when you need him.”
       
      “He’s super funny and nice, but he’s dead serious when it comes to certain things, which is why he’s such an interesting leader.”
       
      Holger and Susanne Knaack love to travel, but they have lived their entire lives not far from where they were born: she in Ratzeburg and he in the nearby village of Groß Grönau, about 40 miles northeast of Hamburg. Their upbringings were remarkably similar. Each was born in 1952 and lived over the shop of the family business: Susanne’s father and grandfather were sausage makers, and Holger’s family bakery was founded by his great-great-great-grandfather in 1868. “We were very loved,” Holger remembers. “Everybody took care of you; everybody always knew where you were.”
       
      Hubertus Eichblatt also grew up in Ratzeburg, where his sister and Susanne, whose maiden name was Horst, were childhood friends. “The Horst family had a very open house, and it’s exactly the same with Holger,” he says. “Friends are always coming in and out.”
      Holger and Susanne live in the home that once belonged to Susanne’s grandmother; next door, Susanne’s sister, Sabine Riebensahm, lives in the house where the two grew up. About a decade ago, after her husband died, Holger’s sister, Barbara Staats, moved into an apartment on the top floor of that house. The two homes have a total of nine guest rooms, and what with Barbara’s 12 grandchildren, dozens of current and former Youth Exchange students, and various other friends, at least one of those rooms is usually occupied.
       
      Every morning, everyone meets for coffee in a cozy nook off Holger and Susanne’s living room, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the Küchensee, one of four lakes that surround Ratzeburg. They often lunch together as well, followed by more coffee. Then Holger has a ritual: He folds his long frame onto a little sofa for a nap while Susanne, Barbara, and Sabine continue their chat. “He likes to hear us talking while he’s napping,” Sabine says.
       
      The four share duties, including shopping and cooking. “When someone needs something, you just shout,” Holger says. “I think this is the perfect way to live: together. The secret to anything is to ask: What’s our goal? This is exactly our goal, how we live right now.”
       
      One Saturday in December, Holger, Susanne, Barbara, and Sabine are preparing boeuf bourguignon to serve at a dinner party for 23 close friends the Knaacks will be hosting the next day. They’re simultaneously planning the menu for Christmas, when they’ll have 15 people — 16 if a young Egyptian woman who is studying in Germany, the daughter of some Rotarians they met at a Rotary institute in Sharm el-Sheikh, takes them up on their invitation.
       
      Helmut Knoth calls the Knaacks’ hospitality “a stroke of luck for Rotary. At least once a year we have a party there, in their beautiful garden,” he says. “When the weather is nice, we go swimming. In winter, there’s a traditional event for Holger’s birthday. We meet at the rowing club and hike around the lake.” All the birthday gifts are donations to the Karl Adam Foundation, which Knaack founded to support the rowing club. (Ratzeburg is world-famous for its rowing club, whose members formed the core of the German teams that won gold at the 1960, 1968, 2000, 2004, and 2012 Olympics. The club’s co-founder and longtime trainer, a local high school teacher named Karl Adam, is considered one of the best rowing coaches of all time and developed what’s known as the “Ratzeburg style.”)
      Over hot punch at the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln’s Christmas party in December, Knaack chats with fellow club member Barbara Hardkop and her husband, Gerrit (with Jan Schmedes in the background).
       
      Looking through family photo albums, the Knaacks talk about childhood vacations to the seaside — Holger and his family to the island of Sylt on the North Sea, and Susanne and her family to the Baltic Sea coast. A few kilometers from their home, Holger’s family also had a small summer house with a large garden where they would spend weekends. The forests and meadows were his to explore. “It was a perfect childhood,” he says.
      Holger’s boyhood home was situated about 500 meters from a small river, the Wakenitz, that formed the border with East Germany. “For me, that was really the end of the world,” he remembers. In the summer, he and his friends would test their courage by swimming across the river. On the other side was a swamp, a minefield, and watchtowers manned by East German guards. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he says, “the first thing we did was to explore the other side by bicycle. All the watchtowers were open. I had never seen our own village, or our own house, from that perspective.”
       
      As a young man, on holidays and weekends, Holger worked as a driver for his family bakery. After finishing secondary school he learned the trade, working in another bakery for two years for his Ausbildung, or apprenticeship. “So I can bake a lot of things,” he says cheerfully. “And I still like to bake. You have to love what you do in order to be very good. Whatever marketing techniques you may use, it’s all about the quality. Quality is about loving the product and trying to make it the best you can. But you have to take your time. That’s the secret to many things.”
      After completing his Ausbildung and another year of internship in a large bread factory in Stuttgart, he went to the city of Kiel to study business administration. At the first student assembly, he caught sight of his future wife. “I saw Susanne on the 20th of September 1972,” he says. “I remember that quite well.”
      Holger and Susanne Knaack love to cook for themselves and their friends; here, they assemble a meal in Holger’s sister’s kitchen.
       
      Holger didn’t make the same impression on Susanne, perhaps because there were 94 men and only three women in their class. But they soon got acquainted, and on weekends, they would drive home together to each work in their family’s business. Before returning to Kiel on Sunday evenings, they would load up the car with bread from the Knaack bakery and sausage from the Horst shop. “Our friends always knew to come over on Mondays,” Susanne says with a laugh.
       
      They graduated in 1975 and got married the next year. Each of them continued to work in their own family’s business. At the time, the Knaack bakery had several shops and about 50 employees. After taking over from his father in the late 1970s, Knaack decided to expand the company. He also decided that he wanted to know exactly where the grain used to bake his bread was coming from. So he turned to his friend Hubertus Eichblatt, a farmer, who started a cooperative with other farmers. Knaack also worked with Günther Fielmann, Europe’s largest optician, who invested in cultivating organic grain on his own farm, Hof Lütjensee. Together Knaack and Fielmann built their own mill and marketed organic baked goods —something new 30 years ago. “Holger was always very innovative,” Eichblatt says, “very forward-thinking about those kinds of things.”
       
      Another of Knaack’s innovations was to move the baking of the bread into the shops. Before that, bread was baked in the factory and the loaves were trucked to the shops. Knaack’s idea was to continue to make the dough in the factory, but then to freeze it in portions that were distributed to the shops to be baked. His motto was Der frische Bäcker – “the fresh baker.” Today, almost every bakery in Germany does it that way.
       
      Knaack kept expanding the business; eventually there were about 50 shops and the factory with hundreds of employees. He received an offer to buy his company from an internationally active firm that was investing in bakeries. It was a very good offer, and Knaack took it. Still a young man in his 40s, he pursued other business ventures and took up golf (and was quickly tapped to be president of his golf club). He had been an active member of Round Table, an organization for people under age 40; at 39, he joined the Rotary club in the nearby town of Mölln (remaining a member there even when a new club was chartered shortly afterward in Ratzeburg with many of his friends as members). And before long, he found his calling with Rotary Youth Exchange.
      Ratzeburg with its 12th-century cathedral and its glacial lakes.
       
      Medieval Ratzeburg, with its ancient cathedral and half-timbered burghers’ houses, is situated on an island surrounded by four glacial lakes. The northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein is dotted with such lakes; winding roads lead through rolling green countryside past farms and villages built in the characteristic regional style of brick architecture. But the students who have stayed with Holger and Susanne have found something much deeper than a picture-postcard experience of Germany.
      Young at Heart 2020-07-08 08:00:00Z 0

      Induction of 2020-2021 Officers

      Here’s a little info about the induction:
       
      For his last meeting as president of the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay, Don Keller organized a successful Zoom and in-person induction of officers for the 2020-2021 Rotary year. A few technical glitches didn’t spoil the fun June 25 on the deck of Alice’s Champagne Palace. Will Files, a former district governor and past president of the club, officiated. Vince Greear gave the invocation. Returning officers are Sue Clardy, vice president; Charlie Franz, secretary; Read Dunn, treasurer; Marv Peters, sergeant-at-arms; and directors Beth Trowbridge and Dennis Weidler. Lori Evans is now president of the club and Bill Hague is president-elect. Don Keller serves on the board as immediate past president. 
       
      Not all of the Officers are pictured here, as some were not able to attend the "in-person" part of the ceremonies.
       
      Pictures by McKibbon Jackinsky
       
      Don Ringing the Bell
       
      Vince Giving Invocation
       
      Susie With Birthdays and Anniversaries
       
      Director Dennis
       
       
      Director Marv
       
      Vice-President Sue
       
      President Lori
       
      President-Elect Bill
       
      Secretary Charlie With Past District Governor Will
       
      PDG Will and President Don
       
      Past President Don With Plaque Thanking Him For His Service to Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary
      Induction of 2020-2021 Officers 2020-07-01 08:00:00Z 0

      Anti-Covid-19 Toolkits for Businesses (and Homes)

       
      Here are the links to the two different business toolkits – the first from CDC, the second Alaska specific support.
       
      Information from the CDC
       
      Loads of Alaska materials
       
      These toolkits are the ones Derotha told us about at last week's meeting.  As far as I can see, all of the information is appropriate for businesses, and some are even appropriate for some homes.
       
      The Alaska specific toolkits are especially appropriate for Alaska, and do cover some Alaska specific items.  They both worth looking at.
       
      Here is just one example of the Posters available for download.
       
      Anti-Covid-19 Toolkits for Businesses (and Homes) DF and CF 2020-07-01 08:00:00Z 0

      Alaska’s COVID-19 Economic Stabilization Plan

      Office of Governor Mike Dunleavy
       
      As the COVID-19 virus and the economic impacts unfold, the plan will adjust to take into consideration new, unforeseen negative impacts. It must be noted that this is a stabilization plan – not an enhancement, not an attempt to grow government, and not in place to create new programs. Rather, the plan is merely an attempt to mitigate the health and economic impacts as a result of this virus. The details of this six-point plan will be forthcoming over the weekend and there may be additional stabilization efforts added to the six points outlined in the attached handout. The Alaska Economic Stabilization Team lead by Former Governor Sean Parnell and Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, who are in constant contact with the business community of Alaska, will also add suggestions that modify this plan. As this is an ever evolving and unprecedented event, so should be the response.
       
      Governor Dunleavy's 6 Point Plan
       
      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Dunleavy is focusing on six areas to provide stability to the economy and ensure Alaskans have the resources needed during this unprecedented time.
      1. Immediate Relief for Alaskans
        • COVID-19 Emergency Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) – $815 million (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
          • Immediate appropriation and release of the unfunded 2019 PFD
        • Full Statutory 2020 PFD (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
          • Issued in two payments of ~$1,550 in June & October
        • Emergency unemployment benefits (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
        • Alaska Housing Finance Corporation mortgage relief
        • Student loan interest waiver – $2.3 million (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
        • Reduction/suspension of fees across selected state agencies
           
      2. Alaska Businesses
        • Establish the Alaska COVID-19 Emergency Business Loan Program
          • Provide 100% state-guaranteed loans to Alaskan businesses for immediate relief.
          • Loan program will be administered by local banks and structured to meet Alaska’s unique needs.
        • State Training Employment Program (STEP) – $2 million (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
           
      3. COVID-19 Emergency Healthcare Enhancements
        • Alaska COVID-19 Healthcare Fund – $75 million
          • Emergency response/isolation shelters
          • Additional medical personnel
          • Critical supplies, test kits, ventilators, & protective gear
        • Expand telehealth services
           
      4. Municipalities
        • Emergency Community Lost Revenue Replacement Program
          • Replace lost revenue due to negative economic impacts associated with COVID-19
             
      5. School Districts
        • Statewide virtual schools – $518,000 (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
        • School nutrition – $3 million (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
        • Distance delivery education – $500,000 (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
        • Student laptop & digital content – $1 million (Dependent Upon Legislative Action)
           
      6. State Workforce
        • Retrofit state offices to protect against the spread of COVID-19
        • Telecommuting options for state employees
      Alaska’s COVID-19 Economic Stabilization Plan 2020-06-18 08:00:00Z 0

      Stay Connected Through Rotary’s Online Learning Center

      Rotary Connects the World — that is Rotary President Mark Daniel Maloney’s theme, and despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotarians are continuing to connect with one another and the world. Rotary’s new Action Plan calls on us to increase our ability to adapt — and members are coming up with innovative ways to serve their communities and create opportunities for fellowship. Many clubs are meeting online for the first time, reimagining fund-raisers and other events, and reinventing planned service projects.
       
      Rotary’s online Learning Center has resources that can help you stay connected to the organization and to one another. Instead of a meeting one week, for instance, everyone in your club might choose a topic to learn more about and then report back to the other members. You might even decide to develop a webinar using Rotary tips and resources. “The Learning Center courses could be used for general knowledge and for brainstorming, action planning, and idea sharing,” says Kimberly Kouame, learning resources manager at Rotary International.
       
      Often, the first time Rotarians use the Learning Center is when they are elected to a club office. But with more than 600 courses in over a dozen languages (including more than 80 in English), the Learning Center has something to interest every Rotarian. Here are a few to pique your interest; find them all at rotary.org/learn.
       
      COURSES
       
      Is Your Club Healthy?
      When your club isn’t able to meet in person, it can be a challenge to keep members engaged. Now might be an ideal time to assess the state of your club and ask members what is working for them and what isn’t.
       
      Your Membership Plan
      Perhaps you’ve been thinking about creating a long-term membership plan. This course offers a helpful worksheet and step-by-step guidelines for crafting a strong future for your club.
       
      Building a Diverse Club
      In line with Rotary’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, this course can help you expand your club’s membership to include people from different walks of life.
       
      Committing to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      This course offers a closer look at Rotary’s DEI statement and how you can put those values into action.
       
      Practicing Flexibility and Innovation
      This course guides you through some of the ways your club can be innovative, with advice on subjects such as setting up satellite clubs.
       
      Kick-Start Your New Member Orientation
      If your club has had trouble retaining new members, with people joining only to leave a few years later, this course can help. Get tips on how to make sure your new members feel welcome and engaged.
       
      All About Rotary Peace Fellowships
      Perhaps you know someone who might be a good candidate for a Rotary Peace Fellowship and you want to be able to talk knowledgeably about the program. Or maybe you would like your club to be more involved. This course will give you information on Rotary’s Peace Centers and the requirements and deadlines for applicants.
      Building Rotary’s Public Image
      Rotarians are people of action, and we want the world to know what we are accomplishing. But how can you get the message out? This course will teach you how to build awareness of Rotary and its work.
       
      Planning Your Projects: Service Projects Committee
      This course is designed for people serving on a club service projects committee, but anyone can benefit from the ideas about how to carry out effective projects — with tips on doing a community needs assessment and executing the project.
       
      Rotary Foundation Basics
      The Rotary Foundation is central to Rotary’s work in the world. This course will walk you through the century-long history of the Foundation and its role in grant-making, supporting polio eradication efforts, and funding the Rotary Peace Centers.
       
      Becoming an Effective Facilitator
      Develop your leadership skills for Rotary and beyond through this course, which guides you on how to effectively work with a team to define and achieve objectives.
       
      Mentoring Basics
      Mentoring has always been one of the cornerstones of Rotary. This course identifies the traits of a good mentor and suggests some best practices to make sure your mentoring relationship is beneficial to all concerned.
       
      Essentials of Understanding Conflict
      We’ve all had to deal with interpersonal conflict, whether the issues are small (who sits at which table at the meeting?) or large (what are our club’s priorities?). This course gives you tools to understand different types of conflict and describes conflict management styles.
       
      Leading Change
      Change is hard, especially in a collaborative organization. This course offers ideas on how to lead a group of people through organizational change, how to assess people’s readiness for change, and how to deal with resistance to change.
       
      • Illustrations by Anders Wenngren
       
      • This story originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      Stay Connected Through Rotary’s Online Learning Center 2020-06-18 08:00:00Z 0

      June 2020 District Governor Message to Members:

      Reflecting on the 2019-2020 Rotary year, it seems my Rotary year began just yesterday and is now wrapping up much sooner than I anticipated.  Looking back,  I recall with great clarity how inspired I was following the International Assembly in January 2019.   It was only then that I fully understood the awesome responsibility, great honor and tremendous opportunities that lay ahead for me as District Governor.  I asked each club President-Elect in February 2019 to be “All In’ and to taking their clubs to new heights, and gave my very best to model what I had asked of each Pres-Elect. Who could have imagined the challenges and opportunities that 2020 would bring?

      I began my Rotary year visiting both Ketchikan Rotary clubs the first week in July and I remember the high I felt from the energy of Rotarians putting on the 4th of July Duck Race and Parade. During the next four months I was able to visit the remaining 37 Rotary clubs. Some highlights were more parades and duck races, seeing inspiring club projects, Polio runs, tremendous Foundation events and many club socials welcoming Sheri and I. In late January I completed my final club visit in Utqiagvik (Barrow Nuuvuk). We experienced the very best of Rotary hospitality in every Alaska community we visited.  A common feature was meeting the many dedicated Rotarians who serve others while having fun doing what they love.  The hospitality I experienced and the mutual appreciation expressed by so many Rotarians was a highlight. We met so many dedicated Rotarians and made many new friends in the process.

      I had high hopes for each of the initiatives I shared during my club visits.  Many were successfully implemented, others fell short of my best hopes.  D5010 members gave generously to Polio Plus this year, raising 148% over last year.  I'm especially proud of the new mobile APP that was developed, the success we had with our virtual Training Assembly in late April, the success of the Peace Scholarship Committee, and the work of the committee tasked with the developing a new Education and Training initiative. I'm especially proud that D5010 could provide every club with $1,000 to help their community in response to the pandemic, under the cause of D5010 Rotary Cares for Kids.  I'm also grateful for the partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation and $25,000 in funds donated by our members that will further help communities where we have Rotary Clubs. The Rasmusen Foundation has generously matched these donations 1:1, so we will soon distribute  $50,000 statewide to further help in response efforts.

      My biggest disappointment (and those of the Conference Planning Committee) was not being able to host our Peace Forum and District Conference in Fairbanks due to the pandemic. Along the way, other opportunities and challenges presented themselves but we were able to PIVOT and keep moving forward.  The Coronavirus proved to be a formidable challenge.  I was stunned after learning I had tested positive for Covid-19 in late March, and feel very fortunate that I recovered without time in the hospital. I appreciate the many ways clubs stayed connected with their members and continue to do the important work of Rotary. 

      In just a couple weeks, Governor-Elect Joe Kashi will begin his Rotary year, bringing his unique expertise, vision and priorities to the role.  Joe has worked quite closely with me over the past two years, and also with Cheryl Metiva (DGN) and Mike Ferris (DGD).  I wish Joe all the best for a successful year in 2020-2021.  

      I would like to give a special shout out to Rosie Roppel (Ketchikan First City Rotary) for her work as my Lt. Governor in 2019-2020.  She has been an invaluable resource to me and brought so much enthusiasm, fun and support that helped make my year a success.  I want to thank Dean McVey who has served as our Treasurer this past three years,  PDG Brad Gamble, who is completing his 3 year term as Foundation Chair, and Lindsay Knight who is completing his 3 year term as Membership Chair.  Thank you Janine Becca for the consistent support you've provided to me and all our officers this year. I have so much gratitude and appreciation for our dedicated Youth Exchange Chair(s), Jeff Johnson and Cheryl Keepers, their executive team of officers and the club level YEO's for their work and dedication this year adapting to the challenges of supporting Youth Exchange students, host families and clubs while maintaining excellence we have come to expect.

      Finally, thank you to all the Past District Governors who provided sound advice and support when I reached out and to others who helped me in so many ways when I asked for help.  Our Rotary District is blessed to have so many who served this year in Leadership roles and on various committees. Your help was invaluable, and your friendships will be one of the highlights of my Rotary year.  I will be recognizing all the many D5010 volunteers as part of the Thursday, June 18th Awards Celebration.

      Sincerely,

      Andre’ Layral (and Sheri)

      D5010 Governor 2019-2020

      Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary

      June 2020 District Governor Message to Members: 2020-06-17 08:00:00Z 0

      Peter Larson Memorial Garden

      Milli and Suzi did a lot of work on the Peter Larson Memorial Garden recently.  Here is part of Milli's email.
       
      Got pictures of Peter Larson's garden, which looks so pretty, but will need weeding soon, those dandelions are persistent, will attach the pictures I took yesterday.
      Flowers have been planted in the boxes at Ben Walters, encourage folks to drive through and see how nice it looks just now. Susie and I did the planting, the City met us at Wagon Wheel and paid for the flowers, which is nice of them. Our two spring projects are done!
       
       
      Peter Larson Memorial Garden 2020-06-10 08:00:00Z 0

      Our Clubs:  5 Stories About Meeting Online

      with

      George Robertson-Burnett

      Rotary coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Bartow, Florida

      1. What made you decide to help clubs adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic?

      A large club in my district announced that it would not be meeting anymore: “No Rotary until further notice.” Those five words kept running through my mind. I had to do something.

      So I wrote a guide to help clubs navigate online platforms like Zoom so they can meet virtually.

      As Rotary coordinator for Zone 34, which includes Georgia, Florida, and parts of the Caribbean region, I’m very membership oriented. My initial thought was that clubs should keep meeting online to retain members, but now I’ve realized there’s also a possibility for growth there. So many people are stuck at home right now, and there are no sports for them to watch. Virtual meetings offer an opportunity to get some new people into Rotary. It’s also a good time to increase a club’s exposure on social media, because people have more time to look. That may turn into new interest in your club, in addition to being a way of connecting with members.

      2. What is the most common question clubs ask?

      Many people want ideas for projects. I suggest reaching out to local organizations that are heavily affected, like food banks or homes that care for the elderly. Tell them that Rotary still cares about those in need and ask how you can help.

      Sometimes the assistance that we give has to be to our own members who are in the at-risk group. Reach out to older club members and reinforce our fellowship. I also suggest a social evening, a glass of wine and video chat, over Zoom. My club tried this out very successfully.

      3. What successes have you seen?

      Since the guide came out, I’ve been videoconferencing with clubs around the world that have never been online before. Now everyone is laughing and sharing. At a traditional meeting, you often only talk to the people at your own table. On video, everyone can talk to each other. I also got a piece of really good news this morning. That club that said “No Rotary until further notice” got in touch and asked for assistance to get online meetings started. Many districts have a communications officer or public image committee who can be great resources. Also, let’s motivate those who are tech-savvy to assist their fellow Rotarians. It’s a victory for Rotary in so many ways if we convince people to meet online.

      4. What if meeting online is not an option?

      In Florida, we have many communities made up of older people. One of the clubs here said, “There is absolutely no way we can go online. It’s just not a possibility. No one in the club is tech-savvy.” The fail-safe is to maintain a written newsletter and send personal cards and letters to members. It’s important to show that Rotary continues in its mission even in adversity.

      5. How do you think Rotary will be different after this?

      Rotary is an organization of professional people. There is a grave concern with regard to small businesses. It’s going to heavily affect employment. We need to be mindful and do anything we can to help each other.

      I came to the United States from the UK in 2004. I knew no one here, and within two weeks of arrival, I had 72 friends because I joined a Rotary club. That fellowship is our fundamental strength. Of course, it’s being challenged for safety’s sake, but we must respond in a positive manner and get through this, hopefully with stronger bonds of fellowship.

      — VANESSA GLAVINSKAS

      • Learn more about meeting online at on.rotary.org/onlinemeetings.

      • This story originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.

      Our Clubs:  5 Stories About Meeting Online 2020-06-10 08:00:00Z 0

      2020 Rotary Virtual Convention

      If you are having trouble viewing this email, view it online
      Membership Minute
      June 2020Ideas for strengthening membership
      The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention 
      Rotary's first online convention will be a great way to connect with members around the world. Now More Than Ever, Rotary Connects the World: The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention is happening 20-26 June. You'll find breakout sessions on new ways to engage members and be inspired by internationally known speakers during the general sessions. 

      Several breakout sessions focus on engaging and attracting members. Plan to attend one or all of these: 

      •    Using Virtual Tools to Engage Members, on 22 June
      •    Grow Rotary Through New Club Types, on 23 June
      •    Digital Trends of 2021: Using Tech to Engage Millennials, on 25 June
      •    Engage Young Families With Service and Alternative Meetings, on 26 June

      See the full list of breakout sessions and look again often for updates. We hope to see you online! 
       
       
      How to stay connected when you can't meet in person  

      Whether it's a club meeting, awards ceremony, or new member induction, you can still connect with and recognize your members even when meeting in person isn't possible. 

      Watch our recent webinar, Connect With the (Online) Rotary World, and learn how to set up online meetings, use social media to engage with members, and maintain fun traditions virtually. We asked for questions before the session and compiled a list of the ones asked most often, along with resources. You can download the FAQ from the Learning Center. (Signing in to My Rotary is required.) Or search for the webinar title. 

      If you're planning a virtual induction ceremony, have the new member induction video from RI President Mark Daniel Maloney ready to show. Look at the Meeting Online topic in the Learning Center for more ideas on how to connect virtually. 

      A reminder about adding new members 

      As club leaders prepare to complete their terms, remember that members added on or before 30 June will count as starting during the current Rotary year, 2019-20. Members added with 1 July effective dates will count toward the new Rotary year, 2020-21. Write to us at membershipdevelopment@rotary.org if you have questions. 

      Share your story on Rotary Showcase

      Rotary clubs around the world are responding to the coronavirus pandemic to help keep their communities safe and healthy. We know this because more than 1,000 service projects related to COVID-19 have been added to Rotary Showcase. Be inspired, connect with others, and add your own project.

      Strengthening Rotary clubs during difficult times 
      Jenny Stotts, membership chair of District 6690, suggests using resilience to strengthen Rotary clubs while we are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. From helping members maintain realistic and positive perspectives to planning service projects that help people feel a sense of purpose, read how Stotts fosters resilience among members to create stronger clubs.
       
       
       
      How to host a virtual changeover ceremony
      Changeover ceremonies are important events for clubs. It's a chance to acknowledge the great work your club accomplished during the past Rotary year, welcome new leaders, and generate excitement for the coming year. Learn how you can host this important event online. Don't miss out on having one! 
       
       
      More from our blog:
       
       
       
      Membership Minute is a bimonthly newsletter that provides the latest membership trends, strategies, best practices, and resources to help strengthen membership in your clubs. The newsletter is sent to Rotary coordinators, district governors, district membership chairs, club membership chairs, club presidents and subscribers. Please forward this to anyone who may be interested. 

      One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201-3698, USA


      © Rotary International

       
      2020 Rotary Virtual Convention 2020-06-10 08:00:00Z 0
      Memorial for Rebekah (Honey) Griffard May 30, 2020 2020-05-28 08:00:00Z 0

      Kenyan Rotarians Take Action to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 

      Rotary clubs in East Africa are forging partnerships to provide hand washing stations and food in areas where social distancing is a luxury that few can afford
       
      by Arnold R. Grahl , Rotary International
       
      Almost 80 percent of the population in Nairobi, Kenya, lives in informal settlements where it’s not unusual for families of day laborers to live together in one house. Surviving day to day on the meager wages they typically earn as shop clerks, construction workers, or domestic employees, as many as eight people cook, do homework, eat, and sleep in these tight quarters.
       
      In short, social distancing is a luxury that many poor Kenyans can’t afford.
       
      “If the [COVID-19] pandemic hits here, like it has in North America and other places, it will be just catastrophic” because of the inability to social distance, says Geeta Manek, a Rotary Foundation trustee-elect and member of the Rotary Club of Muthaiga, Kenya. “We’re working very hard, through preventative measures, desperately trying to keep this thing away from us.”
       
      Shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Joe Otin, governor of Rotary District 9212 (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan), formed a districtwide response team. Chaired by Nairobi-East Rotarian Joe Kamau, the team is working with clubs across the district to provide hand washing stations, deliver food to families who have lost jobs, and raise money for personal protective equipment.
       
      “The world needs Rotary more now than ever before.”
       
      The 100-liter tanks rest on metal stands and have brass taps at the bottom and ledges for soap.
       
      “When [Kamau] asked what we wanted to do first, we said let’s go with hand washing stations,” says Manek, a member of the response team.
      Manek led a fundraising effort in Ethiopia and Kenya that raised more than $21,000 within 20 days. Prime Bank in Kenya offered to match all contributions 1-to-1. The team used the money to purchase 100 water tanks and then persuaded the supplier to donate an additional 100. The 100-liter tanks rest on metal stands and have brass taps at the bottom and ledges for soap. The response team has distributed these hand washing stations in Kilifi, Mombasa, and Nairobi and is now working with national health departments to decide who to help next. The tanks are being refilled by trucks, but local authorities are also discussing ways to pipe in water.
       
      The Rotary Community Corps, groups of non-Rotarians who work alongside Rotary members on service projects, are teaching people effective hand washing techniques, counting the number of times people come back to wash their hands, and collecting other data. Clubs are also partnering with Shofco, a grassroots organization that provides critical services, advocacy, and education for girls and women in Kenya’s urban slums, to monitor the stations.
       
      The response team is also using the stations to ask people coming to wash their hands for information about families who are short of food. Manek says work-from-home orders made it impossible for day laborers to earn a living. Clubs have distributed packages of sugar, maize meal, rice, lentils, salt, and soap.
       
      Clubs have distributed packages of sugar, maize meal, rice, lentils, salt, and soap.

       
      Purchasing personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers has been more difficult. Manek says they’ve been able to negotiate with vendors and donors to get some surgical masks and gowns, but supplies are scarce and much of it is available only by airlift, which makes it too expensive.
       
      If there is a positive side to the crisis, it’s been the way it has energized Rotarians and attracted the attention of partnering organizations.
      “We’ve been the first ones on the ground,” Manek says. “We’re getting invitations from corporate partners like banks and insurance companies who are seeing what we’re doing and want to work with us.”
      • $21,000
      Amount Manek raised in 20 days in Kenya and Ethiopia
      • 200
      Initial number of tanks distributed
      • 100
      Liter capacity of water tank
       
       
      Manek has been most involved in her home country of Kenya, but she says Rotarians have been active in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and South Sudan as well.
       
      “Through this initiative, we’ve come across so many partners we didn’t know existed, or if we knew they existed, we would just have let them do their thing and we do our thing,” Manek says. “Now, people are coming to us. They want a credible partner. They don’t want to give money to a big pot and not know where it’s going. All these values we have been sharing with the world are paying off.”
       
      Says Otin, “the embodiment of Rotary clubs and their ultimate purpose is to embrace and support communities in need, and thus the world needs Rotary more now than ever before.”
       
      Kenyan Rotarians Take Action to Prevent Spread of COVID-19  2020-05-28 08:00:00Z 0

      Covid-19 and Households Living in Close Quarters

      How to Protect Those That Are Most Vulnerable
       
      This guidance is intended for people living together in close quarters, such as people who share a small apartment, or for people who live in the same household with large or extended families.
      Older adults (65 and older) and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following information is aimed to help you protect those who are most vulnerable in your household.
      Everyone should limit risks
      If your household includes one or more vulnerable individuals then all family members should act as if they, themselves, are at higher riskMore information on steps and actions to take if at higher risk.
      Limit errands
      Family members should leave only when absolutely necessary. Essential errands include going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or medical appointments that cannot be delayed (e.g., infants or individuals with serious health conditions in need of aid).
      If you must leave the house, please do the following:
      • Choose one or two family members who are not at a higher risk to run the essential errands.
      • Wear a cloth face covering, avoid crowds, practice social distancing, and follow these recommended tips for running errands.
      • Limit use of public transportation, such as the train or bus, during this period if possible.
        If you must use public transportation:
        • Maintain a 6-foot distance from other passengers as much as possible.
        • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces such as handrails, and wash hands or use hand sanitizers as soon as possible after leaving.
        • More information on how to protect yourself when using public transportation
      • Don’t ride in a car with members of different households. If that’s not possible:
        • Limit close contact and create space between others in the vehicle.
        • Improve air flow in the car by opening the window or placing air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
      • Wash your hands immediately after you return home.
      • Maintain as much physical distance as possible with those at higher risk in the home. For example, avoid hugging, kissing, or sharing food or drinks.
      Vulnerable members should avoid caring for children and those who are sick
      Adults 65 years and older and people who have serious medical conditions should avoid caring for the children in their household, if possible. If people at higher risk must care for the children in their household, the children in their care should not have contact with individuals outside the household. Members of the household who are at high risk should also avoid taking care of sick people of any age who are sick.
      Separate a household member who is sick
      Provide a separate bedroom and bathroom for the person who is sick, if possible. If you cannot provide a separate room and bathroom, try to separate them from other household members as much as possible. Keep people at higher risk separated from anyone who is sick.
      • If possible, have only one person in the household take care of the person who is sick. This caregiver should be someone who is not at higher risk for severe illness and should minimize contact with other people in the household.
        • Identify a different caregiver for other members of the household who require help with cleaning, bathing, or other daily tasks.
      • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other family or household members.
      • If you need to share a bedroom with someone who is sick, make sure the room has good air flow.
        • Open the window and turn on a fan to bring in and circulate fresh air if possible.
        • Maintain at least 6 feet between beds if possible.
        • Sleep head to toe.
        • Put a curtain around or place other physical divider (e.g., shower curtain, room screen divider, large cardboard poster board, quilt, or large bedspread) to separate the ill person’s bed.
      • If you need to share a bathroom with someone who is sick, the person who is sick should clean and disinfect the frequently touched surfaces in the bathroom after each use. If this is not possible, the person who does the cleaning should:
        • Open outside doors and windows before entering and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area.
        • Wait as long as possible before entering the room to clean and disinfect or to use the bathroom.
      • If you are sick, do not help prepare food. Also, eat separately from the family.
      Covid-19 and Households Living in Close Quarters 2020-05-27 08:00:00Z 0
      Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children-Associated With Covid-19 CDC 2020-05-21 08:00:00Z 0

      Announcements--October 22, 2020

       From the Desk of President Lori

      FROM PRESIDENT LORI

      Remember that country song I mentioned months ago — “When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?”

      Well, Saturday was another first for me: digging potatoes. And, yes, it was fun. Sunday, however, I wondered how much work I had really done because I had not even one sore muscle. In fact, my back hasn’t felt this good in a long time — must have been that fresh air, the physical activity, the good company and the knowledge that all those potatoes were going to the Homer Community Food Pantry.

      Many thanks to Bill Hague, Dave Brann, Don Keller and Roger Clyne for their hard work and good stories and to Claire Waxman and Bob Schmutzler of Homer Saw & Cycle for the use of a digger that made the work go much easier. And I can’t forget Farmer Bob Durr, who made his potato crop available to dig.

      The potato dig reminded me again about this year’s Rotary International theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities. Let’s not let those opportunities pass us by.

      With a couple of more weeks of the 37th annual Rotary Health Fair’s low-costs blood draws, there’s still an opportunity for you to help. You can sign up here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-ofDrcon904kUHjKvT6Sx-JmArv7ArisL09k_8FLi9A/edit

      If you’re unable to help as a “runner” (no running involved), there are other opportunities to help out in Rotary, including giving an invocation, or arranging for a weekly program or two, or inviting a potential new member to attend a Rotary meeting. Sometimes, the opportunity is just showing up.

      Just a reminder: I need to hear from you by noon Tuesday if you want to attend the weekly meeting in person at the Best Western Bidarka. We need a minimum of 10 people to buy lunch to make this work for the Bidarka. Your feedback on the in-person/Zoom meetings would be appreciated. It seems we learn something new every week.

      Thanks for your willingness to do something for the first time.

      With gratitude,

      Lori

      President

      Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club

      P.S. To sign up for your own low-cost blood test, go to < http://rotaryhealthfair.org/ > — and be amazed at how easy it is.

       

      This Week's Speaker -- Charlie Franz -- Hospice of Homer

      Invocation -- Bob Shavelson

      Speakers and Invocators are needed from November through June!

      ANNOUNCEMENTS

       

      FACE MASKS NEEDED!

      Another call has gone out for mask makers! In preparation for the start of the school year, mask makers are encouraged to focus on making masks for children and teens returning to school. Mask kits are available. To arrange to pick some up, please call Dawn at 399-6005, Skiff Chicks at 226-2170 or Michelle at 399-3709.

      Winston needs some work! 

      He has done some helpful labor for many of us, but with college canceled and only on line classes, he has plenty of time! He comes highly recommended!!  Call (907) 299-7665 to reach Winston!!  He is anxiously awaiting your call!!
       

      Regular Meeting Thursday October 22, 2020 Noon Using Zoom

      Charlie Franz will present this week's program on Hospice of Homer at the regular weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay. If you want to attend in-person at the Best Western Bidarka please contact me by noon Tuesday, so I can give a correct head count to the kitchen. We need at least 10 to attend in person. 
       
      Topic: Hospice of Homer
      Time: Oct 22, 2020 11:45 AM Alaska
      Join Zoom Meeting
       
       
      Meeting ID: 856 0761 0989
      One tap mobile
      +13462487799,,85607610989# US (Houston)
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      Meeting ID: 856 0761 0989
      Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdr7DQo1IO
       
      I hope you are having a great week. See you Thursday.
       
      Lori
       
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      From District Governor, Joe Kashi
       
      Save the Date! October 22 at 7PM. Rotary District 5010 Community and Grassroots Economy Building Forum #4:   Monica Babine of Washington State University  and Paul Hill of Utah State University examine broadband Internet infrastructure needed for rural areas to thrive in the 21st Century
       
      Dear District 5010 Rotarians:
       
      This is a reminder for our fourth community and economy building forum Thursday evening, October 22, 2020 starting at 7:00pm featuring as speakers Monica Babine of Washington  State University and Professor Paul Hill of Utah State University.
       
      They will be lead our discussion about building the broadband Internet services that are crucial to Alaska's long-term economic well-being.
       
      I hope that you can attend this webinar.  Please invite forward this invitation to other appropriate persons.
       
      Monica Babine is the Senior Associate leading the Program for Digital Initiatives at  Washington State University and works with business, government, community and economic development organizations 
       
      Paul Hill is an Extension Professor for Utah State University where he designs and leads economic development programs in rural counties through Utah's  Rural Online Initiative.
       
      The Zoom  invitation is set out below.
       
      Thanks and best regards
       
      Joe Kashi
      District Governor 2020-2021
       
       
       
      You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

      When: Oct 22, 2020 07:00 PM Alaska

      Topic: Building the Internet that Alaska needs in the 21st Century
       
      Please click the link below to join the webinar:

      Or iPhone one-tap : 
          US: +12532158782,,89511641820#  or +13462487799,,89511641820# 

      Webinar ID: 895 1164 1820
          International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kiOoGX1G
       
      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
       
      Continued
      Announcements--October 22, 2020 2020-05-20 08:00:00Z 0

      Phase 3/4 Starts Friday, May 22, 2020 General Guidance 

              
      Reopen Alaska Responsibly
      Alaska’s Plan Forward
               
      Alaska has done an excellent job of managing COVID-19. We responded quickly to an unknown threat to keep our cases low and to ensure our healthcare systems have the increased capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases in the future. The base actions that led to our success will continue to be our playbook for the future:
                 • Stay six feet or more away from non-family members.
                 • Wash your hands frequently.
                 • Wipe down surfaces frequently.
      • Wear a face covering when in a public setting in close contact with others.
      • Stay home if you are sick and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms.
      • Be mindful and respectful to those Alaskans that are most vulnerable to this virus. Those being our seniors and those with existing health issues.
       
       Under Phases I and II, businesses and organizations found new and creative ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, and each day we are seeing new national and industry guidelines being released that provide guidance on safely operating. 
       
      It is with the listed guidelines and safety advisories that we can empower businesses, organizations and Alaskans to protect themselves and each other while continuing to open responsibly. 
      Now is the time for the next phase of our response. To move ahead, we are combining our future phases, while encouraging personal and organizational responsibility to safely operate while mitigating the spread of this disease.
       
      Make no mistake. The virus is with us. We must function with it and manage it. There will be folks who contract the virus and fall ill, but if we follow these guidelines, we can help lower potential risks and keep our way of life intact with a few exceptions.
       
      The state, local communities, tribal partners, and healthcare providers have come together to do tremendous work. We built up our health care capacity to handle a potential increase in cases. We have increased screening and testing and continued to have robust contact tracing. We have trained our healthcare workers to safely work with, and treat, the virus. We have stockpiled and distributed PPE around the state. 
       
      We will monitor the situation daily, as we have since this virus arrived in Alaska, and we will adjust, if necessary, to handle a growth in case clusters to prevent cases spiking.
       
      Effective Friday May 22, 2020 Alaska is open for business:
       - All businesses can open - All houses of worship can open
      - Libraries and museums can open
      - All recreational activities can open
      - All sports activities can open
       
       It’s the responsibility of individuals, businesses, and organizations to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We encourage all to follow local, state, national, and industry guidelines on ways to conduct business and activities safely. 
       
      Exceptions/restrictions/closures:
      - 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel to Alaska remains in place. This will be reevaluated by June 2, 2020, but will be reviewed weekly.
      - All senior centers, prisons, and institutions will continue to have restricted access.
       - Any proposed large public gatherings such as festivals and concerts need to consult first with public health before scheduling.
      - The State will continue to work with large industries to protect their workforce and the communities in which they operate.
      - Communities may still elect to keep in place travel restrictions. 
      o - Some Alaskan communities may wish to extend restrictions on non-essential travel into their communities for health reasons. Check with your local   community.
      - Health Mandates 15 (Elective Medical/Dental), 17 (Commercial Fishing), and 18 (Intrastate Travel) remain in effect.
       
      It’s because of you, Alaska, that our statewide numbers remain low. We will keep our numbers low because of your actions.
      Phase 3/4 Starts Friday, May 22, 2020 General Guidance  2020-05-19 08:00:00Z 0

      Alaska Covid-19 Health Mandate #18

      Learn More about the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan.
      Health Mandate 018: Intrastate Travel
      Issued: May 11, 2020
       
      By:      Governor Mike Dunleavy; Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
      To prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the State of Alaska is issuing its eighteenth health mandate based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020.
       
      Given the ongoing concern for new cases of COVID-19 being transmitted via community spread within the state, Governor Dunleavy and the State of Alaska are issuing Mandate 018, to go into effect May 12, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until amended, superseded, or rescinded.
       
      This Mandate is being issued to protect the public health of Alaskans. By issuing this Mandate, the Governor continues to establish consistent mandates across the State in order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The goal is to flatten the curve, disrupting the spread of the virus.
       
      The purpose of this Mandate is to clarify and centralize all requirements related to intrastate travel, to increase the ability of individuals within Alaska to travel, while still working to provide sufficient mitigation factors to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.  
      This Mandate supersedes Mandate 012 and Mandate 016-Attachment M.
       
      Effective 8:00 a.m. on May 12, 2020, intrastate travel is permitted under the following conditions and guidance:
       
      Definitions for purposes of this Mandate:
      1. “Road System” is defined as any community connected by a road to the Seward, Parks, Klondike, Richardson, Sterling, Glenn, or Top of the World Highways.
      2. “Marine Highway System” is defined as any community served by the Alaska Marine Highway System or the Inter-Island Ferry System.
      3. “Critical Personal Needs” is defined as those needs that are critical to meeting a person’s individual or family needs. Those needs include buying, selling, or delivering groceries and home goods; obtaining fuel for vehicles or residential needs; transporting family members for out-of-home care, essential health needs, or for purposes of child custody exchanges; receiving essential health care; providing essential health care to a family member; obtaining other important goods; and engaging in subsistence activities.
      4. “Essential Services/Critical Infrastructure” is defined as businesses included in “Alaska’s Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure” (formerly Attachment A)
      Intrastate Travel Between Communities Located On The Road System And/Or The Marine Highway System is permitted for all purposes. Note: travelers may travel between the Road System and Marine Highway System communities via any normal means of transportation, including vehicle, boat, ferry, aircraft, and commercial air carrier.
       
      All Travel To Or From A Community Off The Road System Or The Marine Highway System Is Prohibited, Except As Necessary For:
      1. Critical Personal Needs
      2. The conduct of Essential Services/Critical Infrastructure
      General Requirements
      1. No one traveling to or from any community for Critical Infrastructure/Essential Services reasons or Critical Personal Needs travel may be subject to any automatic quarantine or isolation on arrival, except as allowed under Alaska Statutes or Health Mandates.
      2. Air carriers, ferries, and other travel-related businesses have no duty to verify that intrastate travelers meet the criteria for permissible travel under this Mandate. Air carriers shall inquire if travelers are permitted to travel under this Mandate and shall rely upon a traveler’s assurance that they are eligible to travel.
      3. Groups traveling are subject to Mandate 016, Attachment N, Social Distancing.
      4. All businesses, whether Essential Services/Critical Infrastructure or non-essential/non-critical, that have staff traveling between communities, must file a protective plan with akcovidplans@ak-prepared.com. The plan should outline how the business will avoid the spread of COVID-19 and not endanger lives in the communities in which the business wants to operate, endanger others who serve as a part of the business community, or endanger the ability of critical infrastructure to function. If you have already submitted a plan pursuant to a prior Health Mandate, you do not need to submit another plan. Visit https://covid19.alaska.gov/unified-command/protective-plans/ for guidance.
      5. Alaskans should refer to other Health Mandates and guidance as necessary and appropriate.
      Precautions while traveling:
      1. Stops shall be minimized on the way to the final destination.
      2. If travelers must stop for food, gas, or supplies, only one traveler shall engage with the third-party vendor. All travelers must practice social distancing by keeping six feet away from others when possible, and avoid crowded places whenever possible. Cloth face coverings should be used whenever a traveler engages with a third-party vendor(s).
      3. Travelers, traveling by car or vehicle, who have to stop shall wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before exiting, and immediately after returning to, the car or vehicle.
      ***This Health Mandate Supersedes Mandate 012, Attachment B, and Mandate 016-Attachment M.
      Alaska Covid-19 Health Mandate #18 2020-05-13 08:00:00Z 0


      Never Too Young to Lead

      Six Rotarians reveal the secrets of balancing family and work that allowed them to take on the role of district governor before turning 50
       
      by Kim Lisagor Bisheff             
       
      As an active member of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads (Norfolk) in Virginia, Clenise Platt had been a club president and taken on some leadership roles in her district. Even so, it came as a complete surprise when Mary Landon, the club’s 2016-17 president, approached her at the end of a meeting and asked if it would be OK to nominate her for District Governor.
       
      “I thought one day I might place my name in the hat to become a district governor,” says Platt, 48. “But truth be told, I thought ‘one day’ was years away.”
       
      Moved by the request, she asked for a few days to think it over. She consulted with friends and family, researched the job requirements, and did some soul-searching. “I determined that it was important to me that if I agreed to be nominated, it would be because I believed I could bring a fresh perspective to the role,” she says. “Becoming district governor would not be a résumé builder or an item to check off on a to-do list.”
       
      Decision made, Platt accepted the nomination and later learned that she would become the first African American woman to serve as governor in District 7600’s history.
      Platt may be part of a growing trend within Rotary. In recent years, an increasing number of young Rotarians have accepted district-level positions that had traditionally been held by older members. On 1 July 2019, Rotary inaugurated 36 district governors under age 50. They are midcareer professionals with demanding jobs in medicine, education, tech, finance, and broadcasting. There’s an architect, an advertising executive, a legislator, a lawyer, a veterinarian, and a soy sauce manufacturer. They all have families and friends; some have young children. Yet each of them managed to find the time to take a top leadership position in their districts. Here’s how six of them make it work.

      Shia Smart
      District 9810, Australia | 41 clubs; 1,128 members
       
      Shia Smart joined Rotary when her son, Flynn, was four months old. “So effectively he’s only known Rotary,” she says. “He’s been brought up with it.” Now 15, Flynn travels with his mother to district functions and has logged more meeting hours than many adult Rotarians.
       
      During the same period, Smart, who lives about 15 miles east of Melbourne, was developing her career as an IT business analyst. “I’ve always worked for other people,” she says. “I’ve had flexible working arrangements, but I’ve never been in a position where I control what I do or where I’m going.”
       
      So how did a working mom become a Rotary district governor? Club culture played a significant role, says Smart, 49. She’s a charter member of the Rotary Club of Mont Albert & Surrey Hills, which enacted policies that encouraged working parents to rise through the Rotary ranks: They welcomed children at meetings, relaxed attendance requirements, and scheduled board meetings outside business hours.
       
      That culture empowered Smart to shape her year as district governor to accommodate her job and her responsibilities as a parent. Her first move upon learning that she would become DG was to get her son’s school calendar so she could schedule club visits and meetings accordingly. And when she got a new job just before the start of her term, she set her schedule to make it work. “I said, ‘I need all these days off for Rotary,’ ” and her new employer assented. “I have been very lucky that Rotary is so structured and organized.”
       
      Every step of the way, Smart says, she has made an effort to communicate with colleagues, friends, and family about her Rotary life. “It’s amazing how accommodating people can be when you explain things,” she says. “Take people on the journey with you, and you will find they are very supportive.”

      Santhana Naidu
      District 6580, Indiana | 32 clubs; 1,515 members
       
      Santhana Naidu explains the strategy that helps him manage his roles as husband, father, District Governor, and associate vice president of marketing and communications at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. It can be summed up in one word: compartmentalization. “I set aside two workday evenings and weekends for Rotary business,” he says. “I don’t generally take [Rotary-related] calls or emails during workdays unless it’s an emergency.”
       
      Of course, that approach depends on the cooperation of all stakeholders. ISU lets him work remotely when needed, and his wife, Amy, “has been pulling my share at home when I’m away,” Naidu admits. “I couldn’t do this without a supportive employer and family.”
       
      The district’s clubs have also lent their support. About two-thirds of them have held joint meetings or socials so he wouldn’t have to travel on his workdays. “At the social events, several people have told me how much they’ve enjoyed interacting with a DG,” he says. “I see that as a win.”
       
      In recent years, the district has developed a culture of supporting young leaders, Naidu says. “Past district governors have been instrumental in resetting expectations for younger Rotarians and working professionals.” That included hiring a district administrator to help with day-to-day office duties. The result: At 42, Naidu, a member of the Rotary Club of Terre Haute, is the district’s youngest-ever DG, and the next in line is a working mother of four.
       
      “I truly believe Rotary leadership is possible while working full time,” Naidu says, “and you can do a good job on both fronts.”
       

      Anna Tumanova
      District 2223, Russian Federation | 77 clubs; 1,107 members
       
      When your district spans all of Russia, visiting each of its clubs can be a challenge. Consider this: Flying east from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland to Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan — more than 4,000 miles — takes about 12 hours. That’s why Russia’s District 2223 has initiated a six-year pilot program that divides the district into five regions, each of which has its own director. “I hope that all these regions in six years can be separate districts,” Anna Tumanova says. “We have huge potential here. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do.” Tumanova, 43, is no stranger to work. She has been an active Rotarian and full-time financial consultant since 2005, when she and her husband, Vladimir Rtishchev, chartered the Rotary Club of Ulyanovsk, a city on the Volga River about 500 miles east of Moscow. When Rtishchev died of liver cancer in 2015, Tumanova didn’t step back from Rotary. She leaned in. Rtishchev had hoped to become a district governor one day. In taking on that role, Tumanova has fulfilled his dream. “It helped that I had Rotary friends all across Russia,” she says. Everywhere Rotary takes Tumanova, her daughter, Varvara, goes as well. “Now she also has friends all over the country,” Tumanova says. “Rotary kids.” Varvara, 12, plans to launch an Interact club with her Rotary friends from across the region so they can more easily keep in touch. She gets straight A’s in school, where she is allowed to do homework via the internet when she is on the road. And she and her friends have learned to enjoy one of the perks of Rotary trips: “Rotarians travel not like tourists but like real guests,” Tumanova says. “I hope that Varvara and her friends will grow up as people of the world. They have no borders in their minds, and that’s very important.” 
      “It helped that I had Rotary friends all across Russia.”

      Igor Lenin Peniche Ruiz
      District 4195, Mexico | 78 clubs; 1,170 members
       
      In a typical workday, Igor Lenin Peniche Ruiz drives an hour from his home to his family’s 3,000-acre ranch in the Yucatán jungle, where he and his 10 employees are raising about 500 beef cattle. As general manager, he observes the animals, talks with his team, takes notes on the cows, bulls, and calves, and monitors their feed, which they grow on-site. It’s a demanding job, and the only one he has ever known: The ranch belongs to his 79-year-old father, who has worked alongside him for years.
      That routine changed significantly when Peniche Ruiz became a Rotary district governor. At the start of his term, he was traveling for Rotary five or six days a week. His father, his sister, and his workers — some of whom have been with the ranch for 30 years — picked up the slack. “My Rotary team is really good, but my work team is even better,” he says. “I trust in my team, I trust in my family, and they allowed me to do this work.”
       
      Peniche Ruiz, 49, says his employees are happy to pitch in because they’ve seen how Rotary has helped people in their communities. “They already live the magic of Rotary,” he says. In one instance, his club, the Rotary Club of Mérida-Itzaes, sponsored a medical clinic in a nearby town. Doctors diagnosed life-threatening conditions in time to save two patients’ lives.
       
      At home, that magic has spread to each of his five daughters. Four have participated in Rotary Youth Exchange, three have been Rotaractors, one was a Rotaract club president and district representative, and one was an Interact club president. “My wife, Norma, is the main key to keeping every-thing in balance,” he says.
       
      When Peniche Ruiz joined Rotary 20 years ago, his oldest daughter was 10. His youngest is now 18, so he and his wife decided that this was the right time for him to take on the role of DG. As always, he has Norma’s full support. “That’s the only way you’re going to be a successful person,” he says. “Family is the most important thing.”

      Clenise Platt
      District 7600, Virginia | 62 clubs; 2,508 members
       
      Clenise Platt’s first Rotary leadership role was chairing her club’s dictionary project, a fitting assignment for someone who had written a children’s book. When club members found out about the book, Keep Your Chin Up, they asked her to read it to local third graders when she delivered the dictionaries. A few years later, the club began donating copies of the book along with the dictionaries; since then, about 2,000 students have received her book.
       
      “I am so appreciative of the way my club engaged me as a young leader,” Platt says. “I think their willingness to make space for me to be a leader in the club, and the way they asked to include my book in the program for the third graders, helped me to feel engaged and an important part of the club.”
       
      The experience led her to pursue increasingly influential roles within her club and her district. Along the way, she learned to integrate her service life with her job by being clear about her priorities. On her first day as the staff development coordinator at the Virginia Beach Public Library, Platt told her co-workers that she was a Rotarian and hoped to become a district governor one day. “I had no idea that I would be on the pathway to governor less than a year later,” she says.
       
      To maximize time with friends and family, Platt has looked for opportunities to include them in Rotary functions. Her parents, Clinton and Hattie, have attended meetings, fundraisers, club visits, installation ceremonies, and international conventions, and they have volunteered at a district conference. “They have fans who ask about them when they aren’t at an event,” she says. “I made my parents Paul Harris Fellows because they were the first people who taught me the meaning of Service Above Self.” Her brother, Gabriel, will soon become a Paul Harris Fellow as well.
       
      “Rotary has been a complement to my family,” she says. “I have found that incorporating my personal and professional life with Rotary has enriched my experience as a district governor in a number of ways.”

      Jaco Stander
      District 9370, South Africa and Lesotho | 88 clubs; 1,446 members
       
      Jaco Stander may be one of the oldest of the 36 younger DGs — he turned 50 about halfway into his term — but like others in his cohort, he has embraced Rotary as a family affair. His wife, Lisa, a pharmacist, is also a Rotarian. In the year leading up to his term, she traveled with him to all of his training sessions so, he explains, “we could share our Rotary journey together.” They planned their visits to the district’s clubs in a way that allowed them to keep tabs on Stander’s two gas stations and block out time for family and friends.
       
      “Both my wife and I planned our working environment to commit to the DG year,” he says. Stander trained two managers to oversee his business. (He adds, “I’m also fortunate to still have my parents, who are able to assist where needed.”) So she could have more flexibility, Lisa became a locum pharmacist, which means she’s employed on a contractual rather than full-time basis. It helped that their children — Christopher, 24, and Brigitte, 22 — had finished or were about to finish college. “The timing made sense at that stage,” he says.
       
      The process that led to Stander taking on the DG position started years earlier, when he became a Rotarian. “My club encourages young and new members to play an active role in club leadership,” he says. “I had the opportunity to lead a wide range of portfolios.” (Stander is a member of the Rotary Club of Klerksdorp, a city about 100 miles southwest of Johannesburg.) His district took the same approach, pulling him into a district youth committee, a term as assistant governor, and various training events early in his Rotary career. And when he completes his term as governor, he will lead his district’s 2020-21 youth services committee.
      Those experiences encouraged him to aim higher. “I wanted to be part of district leadership and be more involved in the management of Rotary,” he says. The final nudge was a phone call from Bruce Steele-Gray, a past district governor, who asked him to apply. Stander also received support and encouragement from what he calls his “close group of PDG friends.”
       
      “Becoming a district governor is an amazing opportunity to experience Rotary at a totally different level,” he says. Stander also recommends diving into district activities early and often. “It’s a way to acquire knowledge and experience,” he says, “as well as an opportunity to contribute new energy and views that will help bring Rotary into the modern era.”
       
      “My club encourages young and new members to play an active role.”

      In our February issue, Kim Lisagor Bisheff wrote about how to spot fake news.
      • This story originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
       
      Never Too Young to Lead 2020-05-13 08:00:00Z 0

      Rotary Peace Fellow Applications Sought

      I am writing you because the D5010 Rotary Peace Fellowship committee needs your help.  Specifically we need every D5010 Rotarian to help us promote this great scholarship opportunity. Help us by encouraging eligible applicants to apply, and help interested applicants with the application process.  This is very important to me because D5010 is a Peace District.
       
      Last week I sent a short PowerPoint presentation to every club President, asking they share it at a club meeting this week.  Did your club share it with members?  If it was not shared, I am attaching the PowerPoint below for you to preview on your own.  It will help you understand one of the Rotary Foundation's most important programs.  After previewing the PowerPoint you will be more aware about why this is such a wonderful opportunity.
       
      The PowerPoint provides details about the two programs (Masters and Certificate), scholarship eligibility requirements, locations of the Peace Centers, details about the application process and the application deadline (May 31st).
       
      Here is a link to a 2 minute video by recent Peace Fellow graduate Shea Brenneman, who is working in Fairbanks.
       
       
      So potential applicants who may need help with their application can receive it from you or your club, I'm including the names and contact information below of the Committee members. Please reach out to a committee member to see how you can provide support to the applicants.
       
      Here is the contact info for the committee members:
       
      Lori Draper (Seward) alaskaldraper@gmail.com
      Lois Craig (E-Club) lois.craig@gmail.com
      David Wartinbee (Soldotna) kbwart@alaska.net
      Patty Meritt (Fairbanks) pameritt@alaska.edu
       
      Thank you Rotarians for helping us find applicants for this wonderful scholarship opportunity.
       
      Sincerely,
       
      Andre' Layral
      District Governor 2019-2020
      District 5010 - Alaska
      Rotary Peace Fellow Applications Sought 2020-05-13 08:00:00Z 0

      State of Alaska Health Mandate 17:  Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels

      Health Mandate 017: Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels

      Issued: April 23, 2020

      By: Governor Mike Dunleavy
      Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
      Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska

      To slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the State of Alaska is issuing its seventeenth health mandate, based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020.

      Given the ongoing concern for new cases of COVID-19 being transmitted via community spread within the state, Governor Dunleavy and the State of Alaska are issuing Mandate 017 to go into effect April 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and will reevaluate the Mandate by May 20, 2020.

      This Mandate is issued to protect the public health of Alaskans. By issuing this Mandate, the Governor is establishing consistent mandates across the State in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The goal is to flatten the curve and disrupt the spread of the virus.

      The purpose of this Mandate is to enact protective measures for independent commercial fishing vessels operating within Alaskan waters and ports in order to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

      The State of Alaska acknowledges the importance of our commercial fishing fleet to our economy and lifestyle as Alaskans. In order to ensure a safe, productive fishing season this year, while still protecting Alaskan communities to the maximum extent possible from the spread of the virus, the State is establishing standardized protective measures to be followed by all independent commercial fishing vessels operating in Alaskan waters and ports.

      Health Mandate 017 – Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels.

      • Applicability
        1. Definition: For the purposes of this Mandate, “independent commercial fishing vessels” are defined as all catcher and tender vessels that have not agreed to operate under a fleet-wide plan submitted by a company, association, or entity that represents a fleet of vessels. This Mandate alleviates the requirement for independent commercial fishing vessels to submit a Community/Workforce Protective Plan in response to Health Mandates 010 or 012.
        2. This Mandate does not apply to skiffs operating from shore; protective measures for those vessels will be provided under separate guidance.
      • Required Protective Measures/Plans
        1. Independent commercial fishing vessels operating in Alaskan waters and ports must enact the protective measures and procedures described in Appendix 01, the Alaska Protective Plan for Commercial Fishing Vessels.
        2. Vessel captains must enact controls on their vessel to ensure crewmember compliance with this Mandate.
      • Travel and Access
        1. Compliance with this Mandate does not constitute a right to travel or access into any areas.
        2. It is incumbent upon the individual traveler to ensure that any proposed travel itinerary is still possible, and to adhere to any additional restrictions enacted by air carriers and lodging facilities or by small communities in accordance with the State of Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order (Health Mandate 012-Attachment B).
      • Compliance and Penalties
        1. Vessel captains are required to maintain documentation as directed by Appendix 01, Paragraph I, and must provide a copy of the Mandate 017 Acknowledgement Form (Appendix 02) upon request by any seafood purchasing agent or Federal, State, or local authority, to include law enforcement and fisheries regulators.
        2. A violation of a State COVID-19 Mandate may subject a business or organization to an order to cease operations and/or a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation.
        3. In addition to the potential civil fines noted above, a person or organization that fails to follow the State COVID-19 Mandates designed to protect the public health from this dangerous virus and its impacts may, under certain circumstances, also be criminally prosecuted for Reckless Endangerment pursuant to Alaska Statute 11.41.250. Reckless endangerment is defined as follows:

      (a) A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct, which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

      (b) Reckless endangerment is a class A misdemeanor.

      Pursuant to Alaska Statute 12.55.135, a defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment of not more than one year.

      Additionally, under Alaska Statute 12.55.035, a person may be fined up to $25,000 for a class A misdemeanor, and a business organization may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greatest of $2,500,000 for a misdemeanor offense that results in death, or $500,000 for a class A misdemeanor offense that does not result in death.

      This Mandate Supersedes And Replaces All Previously Submitted Protective Plans For Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels.

      This Mandate Does Not Supersede Or Replace Any Previously Enacted Protective Plans For Corporate Vessel Fleets.

      Appendix 01, the Alaska Protective Plan for Commercial Fishing Vessels

      Appendix 02, Mandate 017 Acknowledgement Form 

      For the latest information on COVID-19, visit covid19.alaska.gov

      State of Alaska Health Mandate 17:  Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels 2020-05-07 08:00:00Z 0

      Hacking a Solution to the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Rotarians in Lithuania and the United States promote the use of bubble helmets to help patients avoid mechanical ventilators
       
      by Arnold R. Grahl
       
      Rotarians in Lithuania and Chicago, Illinois, USA, are using their influence to promote the use of “bubble helmets” and potentially lessen the need for mechanical ventilators for COVID-19 patients who struggle to breathe on their own.
       
      The Rotary Club of Vilnius Lituanica International, Lithuania, participated in Hack the Crisis, an online event in March that brought together innovators in science and technology to “hack,” or develop solutions to, issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Lithuanian club, along with members of the Rotary Clubs of Chicago and Chicagoland Lithuanians (Westmont), joined a team to brainstorm ways to help COVID-19 patients breathe without using mechanical ventilators.
      Bubble helmets come in various designs and are noninvasive, supplying oxygen without the need for intubation.
       
      “Traditional ventilators used with intubation are a painful intervention into the body and require trained medical staff,” says Viktorija Trimbel, a member of the Vilnius Lituanica club, who was a mentor during Hack the Crisis. “There’s also a shortage of the drugs used for sedation. But you don’t have to be sedated with helmets.”
       
      Bubble helmets are noninvasive and supply oxygen without the need for intubation, a procedure where a tube is inserted down a patient’s throat. A helmet fits over a patient’s head with a rubber collar that can be adjusted around the neck. The collar has ports that can deliver oxygen and air.
       
      Before the pandemic, doctors typically used noninvasive devices to help patients breathe if their oxygen levels dropped below a certain level. If the noninvasive devices don’t boost those levels enough, mechanical ventilators are used to push oxygen into the lungs through the tube at a preset rate and force.
       
      Benefits of bubble helmets
      • Helps with respiratory distress                     
      • Noninvasive                                                 
      • Can be used outside of intensive care units 
      But some critical care physicians are becoming concerned that intubation and mechanical ventilators are being used unnecessarily on COVID-19 patients and suggest that more patients could benefit by remaining longer on simpler, noninvasive respiratory support.
       
      Helmetbasedventilation.com connects researchers, manufacturers, medical professionals, and funding sources to increase the supply of bubble helmets.
       
      “Being a Rotarian, I have in my network people from all over the world,” adds Trimbel, governor-elect of the district that covers Lithuania. “This pandemic has moved like a wave, first in Asia, then Europe, and then the United States. Yet countries like Mexico, Brazil, and India aren’t yet as impacted. We’re trying to get word out in time for the information to help.”
       
      Beginnings of an idea
       
      The idea to promote helmets actually began around a kitchen table in Chicago three days before the hackathon when Aurika Savickaite, a registered nurse and member of the Chicagoland Lithuanians (Westmont) club, discussed the crisis with her husband, David Lukauskas, who is Trimbel’s brother. Savickaite recalled a clinical trial she participated in that involved the helmets a few years earlier.
       
      The three-year study found that using these kinds of helmets helped more patients with respiratory distress avoid intubation than masks, another noninvasive method. The patients’ overall outcomes were also much improved. The helmets can be used in any room equipped with a wall oxygen supply, not just an intensive care unit.
       
      “You want to avoid intubation for as long as you can, because generally the mortality rate on intubation is fairly high,” said Savickaite.
       
      “Through Rotary, we’re able to connect so many people around the world. It’s a great way to collaborate in this battle.”
       
      Lukauskas was surprised that more people weren’t talking about helmets and called Trimbel, who had already signed up as a mentor for Hack the Crisis. Together they enlisted more than a dozen Rotary members from their clubs to explore noninvasive ventilation options and how to expand the use of helmets.
       
      The group worked with intensive care unit clinicians, healthcare leaders, helmet manufacturers, technology professionals, and marketing managers. They developed a short questionnaire for clinicians and hospital leaders worldwide, gathered practice-based knowledge on noninvasive ventilation for COVID-19 patients, devised an online platform to connect suppliers with demand, and pursued funding to finance the production of more helmets.
       
      Spreading the word
       
      Trimbel, her brother, and Savickaite launched their website to encourage collaboration and link manufacturers, clinicians, and funding sources. Trimbel says they’ve also spoken with media outlets in the United States.
       
      The website posts news such as the mid-April announcement by Virgin Galactic that it was teaming up with the U.S. space agency NASA and a U.S. hospital to develop their own version of bubble helmets to supplement scarce supplies of ventilators in hospitals in southern California and beyond.
       
      “Because of trade restrictions and borders being closed, most countries are on their own,” says Trimbel. “There’s a Facebook group where people are designing their own helmets using balloons and plastics. Some may think it’s funny, but it’s also inspiring. The helmet part is not rocket science, as long as it works with the connectors. We believe this has very big potential.”
      The problem-solving team also worked on how to improve the isolation of patients who think they may have the virus, and how to match the supply and demand for medical equipment with available funding. Another team at the hackathon developed a digital platform that helps family physicians find up-to-date medical information on the virus for their patients.
      Savickaite feels Rotary is in a strong position to find solutions to problems caused by the pandemic.
       
      “Through Rotary, we’re able to connect so many people around the world,” she said. “It’s a great way to collaborate in this battle.”
       
      From the ROTARIAN
      Hacking a Solution to the COVID-19 Pandemic ARG 2020-05-06 08:00:00Z 0

      Painting Tables!!

      Annual picnic table painting at the Water Trail Picnic Shelter by the Nick Dudiak Fishing Hole
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Painting Tables!! 2020-05-06 08:00:00Z 0

      Kachemak Bay State Park -- 50th Anniversary

      Hi all,

      Saturday, May 9 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Kachemak Bay State Park.  Due to the pandemic, planned celebrations have been cancelled or postponed.  As a way to celebrate our Park, I am suggesting folks have a “stay at home” birthday party with a Park themed cake and ice cream.  Take a picture of your cake and share it for all to enjoy on the Water Trail and the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park Facebook pages and send the pictures to Craig for our Bulletin.  No judging, no prizes, just a few extra calories and a bit of creative fun.

      Below is my practice cake, a Kachemak Bay Blueberry (berries, not wine) cake with a canned frosting and a few sprinkles.  Hope others will think, “I can do better than that.” And then do it.  I will do better than that for our Saturday Party.

      Have fun, stay well,

      Dave

      Kachemak Bay State Park -- 50th Anniversary 2020-05-05 08:00:00Z 0
      New Cases of Covid-19 in Homer 2020-04-30 08:00:00Z 0
      Why 6 Feet May Not Be Enough to Protect You From Coronavirus 2020-04-30 08:00:00Z 0

      2022 Rotary Peace Fellowships

       Now Accepting Applications for the 2022 Rotary Peace Fellowship - Apply Now!
      Promoting peace is one of Rotary’s main causes. The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship, which covers tuition and living expenses, increases the capacity of existing leaders to prevent and resolve conflict by offering academic training, field experience, and professional networking.
      Up to 130 fellows are selected every year in a globally competitive process based on personal, academic, and professional achievements. Fellows earn either a master’s degree or a professional development certificate in peace and development studies at one of the seven Rotary Peace Centers, located at leading universities around the world.
      More than 1,300 program alumni are working in more than 115 countries as leaders in national governments, nongovernmental organizations, social enterprises, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations such as the United Nations.
       
      ▪ 15-24 month program, small-group classroom learning, in fields related to peace and development
      ▪ Intended for leaders near the start of their careers
      ▪ 50 fellows selected annually to study at one of five Rotary Peace Centers at partner universities, which offer interdisciplinary curricula with research-informed teaching
      ▪ 2-3 month field study experience to develop practical skills
      ▪ Fellows connect with an international cohort of fellows, thought leaders, and a global network of Rotarians
       
      ▪ Year long program that blends online learning, in-person classes, and an independent project, based at a Rotary Peace Center in Thailand or Uganda
      ▪ Intended for social change leaders with extensive experience working in peace-related fields
      ▪ 80 fellows selected annually to earn a certificate in peace and development studies
      ▪ Interdisciplinary program includes a two-week online preliminary course, 10 weeks of on-site courses with field studies, a nine-month period during which fellows implement a social change initiative (with interactive online sessions), and an on-site capstone seminar
       
      Eligibility: Take the eligibility quiz.
       
      Qualified candidates must:
      ▪ Have five years of related work experience for the certificate program and be able to explain how their plan to promote peace aligns with Rotary’s mission
      ▪ Be proficient in English
      ▪ Have a bachelor’s degree
      ▪ Demonstrate leadership skills
      ▪ Have a strong commitment to cross-cultural understanding and peace
      Have three years of related work experience for the master’s program
       
      Applications for the 2021-22 academic term need to be submitted to Rotary districts by 31 May 2020. Please write to pameritt@alaska.edu with questions.
      If you know someone who might be a good candidate for this fellowship, please submit a referral form with their name and email address. We’ll contact them with information on how to apply. Thank you for supporting our program.
      2022 Rotary Peace Fellowships 2020-04-30 08:00:00Z 0


      ShelterBox Team Rises to Challenge

      When El Niño caused abnormally intense rainfall in April and May 2019, Paraguay experienced massive flooding that displaced an estimated 60,000 people. In Asunción, the capital, the Paraguay River overflowed, and tens of thousands had to live in temporary settlements with inadequate shelter and poor sanitation. With the high waters persisting for months, residents needed humanitarian assistance while they figured out what to do in the long run.
       
      That’s how Ned Morris, a member of the Rotary Club of Walla Walla, Washington, found himself in Asunción for 22 days in July and August. It was Morris’ fifth deployment since late 2017, when he completed his training with ShelterBox, Rotary’s partner for disaster relief.
       
       
      Ned Morris (second from left) worked closely with ShelterBox team members and community members to ensure that displaced people were getting things they needed.
      Image credit: Alyce Henson / Rotary International
       
      In its May 2018 issue, The Rotarian followed Morris, fellow Rotarian Wes Clanton, and Rotaractor Katelyn Winkworth as they trained to become members of the ShelterBox Response Team. After 11 months developing the skills needed to assist displaced people around the world, they were invited to participate in the intensive final stage of training conducted by ShelterBox in the rugged countryside in Cornwall, England. After nine days dealing with simulations of the disasters they might encounter on a deployment, ShelterBox welcomed Morris, Clanton, and Winkworth to its response team, which numbers about 200 people worldwide.
       
      Since then, Morris has supported families in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, and Kenya as well as Paraguay, experiencing firsthand the power of the Rotary-ShelterBox partnership. “When we hit the ground on any deployment, Rotarians and Rotaractors are our first contact,” he says. “They help us identify safe and unsafe areas, the right places to set up base. They provide drivers and translators. We wouldn’t have the impact we do without the partnership.”
       
      In Paraguay, members of the Rotaract clubs of Asunción and Asunción Catedral were crucial to the mission’s success. Mariana Santiviago and Oliver Lugo Fatecha helped with translation, and Gabriela Grasso, Fanny Santos, and others provided logistical support.
       
      ShelterBox Response Teams provided shelter kits packed with tarpaulins and tools to help repair homes. They also distributed solar lights, mosquito nets, and blankets to displaced people in Asunción. As for Morris, he served on a team dedicated to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL), part of ShelterBox’s effort to garner knowledge from each deployment. “The purpose of the MEAL team is to make sure we’re providing the right type of aid that’s needed now,” he explains. “And if they need other things, we want to know what those are. If it’s something that we can bring in the future to improve our response, we want to know.”
       
      ShelterBox distributed thermal blankets for the cold nights; mosquito nets are essential for disease prevention.
      Image credit: Alyce Henson / Rotary International
       
      Community engagement is key to the partnership’s success. The response teams work with local leaders and teach them to show others how to use the resources ShelterBox provides. That means the ShelterBox teams can be small, with lower deployment costs and greater ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
       
      The response teams also work directly with the people most affected by a disaster, but they are careful not to be intrusive. “These people are in a horrible situation and they deserve to be respected, consulted, and treated with dignity,” Morris says. “We don’t want to be a burden on them. They’ve already gone through enough.”
       
      ShelterBox is always preparing for its next deployment, without knowing where that might be. “We fundraise for the next disaster,” says Morris, who also works as a ShelterBox ambassador, spreading the word about the Rotary-ShelterBox mission. “We already had the supplies in place that we’re delivering now. We are ready when the next hurricane or earthquake hits, wherever that might be. Whatever it is, as soon as the next disaster hits, we are ready.”
      — HANK SARTIN
      • This story originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
       
      The ShelterBox team, including Rotarians from the UK and the United States, worked alongside local Rotaractors; solar lights make it possible to do chores and cook at night, and provide a sense of comfort.
      Image credit: Alyce Henson / Rotary International
       
      ShelterBox Team Rises to Challenge 2020-04-30 08:00:00Z 0

      Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering

      To the Editor:
      Video
       
      Digital Object Thumbnail
       
      Aerosols and droplets generated during speech have been implicated in the person-to-person transmission of viruses,1,2 and there is current interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the spread of Covid-19 by these means. The act of speaking generates oral fluid droplets that vary widely in size,1 and these droplets can harbor infectious virus particles. Whereas large droplets fall quickly to the ground, small droplets can dehydrate and linger as “droplet nuclei” in the air, where they behave like an aerosol and thereby expand the spatial extent of emitted infectious particles.2 We report the results of a laser light-scattering experiment in which speech-generated droplets and their trajectories were visualized.
       
      The output from a 532-nm green laser operating at 2.5-W optical power was transformed into a light sheet that was approximately 1 mm thick and 150 mm tall. We directed this light sheet through slits on the sides of a cardboard box measuring 53×46×62 cm. The interior of the box was painted black. The enclosure was positioned under a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to eliminate dust.
       
      When a person spoke through the open end of the box, droplets generated during speech traversed approximately 50 to 75 mm before they encountered the light sheet. An iPhone 11 Pro video camera aimed at the light sheet through a hole (7 cm in diameter) on the opposite side of the box recorded sound and video of the light-scattering events at a rate of 60 frames per second. The size of the droplets was estimated from ultrahigh-resolution recordings. Video clips of the events while the person was speaking, with and without a face mask, are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org
      .
       
      Figure 1. Emission of Droplets While a Person Said “Stay Healthy.”
       
      We found that when the person said “stay healthy,” numerous droplets ranging from 20 to 500 μm were generated. These droplets produced flashes as they passed through the light sheet (Figure 1). The brightness of the flashes reflected the size of the particles and the fraction of time they were present in a single 16.7-msec frame of the video. The number of flashes in a single frame of the video was highest when the “th” sound in the word “healthy” was pronounced (Figure 1A). Repetition of the same phrase three times, with short pauses in between the phrases, produced a similar pattern of generated particles, with peak numbers of flashes as high as 347 with the loudest speech and as low as 227 when the loudness was slightly decreased over the three trials (see the top trace in Figure 1A). When the same phrase was uttered three times through a slightly damp washcloth over the speaker’s mouth, the flash count remained close to the background level (mean, 0.1 flashes); this showed a decrease in the number of forward-moving droplets (see the bottom trace in Figure 1A).
       
      We found that the number of flashes increased with the loudness of speech; this finding was consistent with previous observations by other investigators.3 In one study, droplets emitted during speech were smaller than those emitted during coughing or sneezing. Some studies have shown that the number of droplets produced by speaking is similar to the number produced by coughing.4
       
      We did not assess the relative roles of droplets generated during speech, droplet nuclei,2 and aerosols in the transmission of viruses. Our aim was to provide visual evidence of speech-generated droplets and to qualitatively describe the effect of a damp cloth cover over the mouth to curb the emission of droplets.
       
      Philip Anfinrud, Ph.D.
      Valentyn Stadnytskyi, Ph.D.
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
       
      Christina E. Bax, B.A.
      Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
       
      Adriaan Bax, Ph.D.
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
       
      Disclosure forms. opens in new tab provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.
       
      This letter was published on April 15, 2020, at NEJM.org.
      Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering 2020-04-23 08:00:00Z 0
      Some Common Symptoms Compared to Covid-19 2020-04-23 08:00:00Z 0

      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandate 16 F,G, and H

      Restaurants Dine-In Services
      Attachment F
      Issued April 22, 2020 Effective April 24, 2020
      State of Alaska COVID-19 Mandate 016 - Attachment F Restaurants Dine-In Services
      By:  Governor Mike Dunleavy 
      Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services 
      Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
      I. Applicability: This section applies to restaurants only. Bars remain closed.
      II. Restaurants may resume table service dining if they meet all of the following requirements:
      a. General:
                  i.             Social distancing protocol is maintained.
                  ii.            Continue to follow all regulatory and legal standards required to operate a food services business in Alaska.
                  iii.           Develop protocols in the restaurant’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan to minimize direct contact between employees and customers, and increase physical distancing.
      b. Capacity:
       i.             Indoors
                  1. Groups limited to household members only.
      2. Limit maximum indoor capacity by 25 percent based on factors such as   square footage, configuration, or fire code capacity. Business must determine, post, and            enforce. 
      3. Tables seating non-household members must be a minimum of ten feet apart 
      ii. Outdoors
                        1. Groups limited to household members only.
                        2. No more than 20 tables.
            3. Tables seating non-household members must be a minimum of ten feet apart.
       
      c. Operations:
      i.      Reservations only. Walk-in prohibited.
      ii.     Groups limited to household members only.
      iii.    Fabric face coverings worn by all employees.
      iv.     Entryway signage stating that any customer who has symptoms of COVID-19 must not enter the premises.
       v.     Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to
               protect staff and the public.
      vi. Hard copy of written safety, sanitization, and physical distancing protocols (specific to COVID-19) on the business premises.
      vii. Disposableware should be used when available.
      viii. Condiments by request in single-use disposable packets or reusable condiments by request that are sanitized between parties.
      ix. Fully sanitize tables and chairs after each party.
      x. Sanitize or provide disposable menus or menu board. xi. Provide sanitizer on each table or at customer entrance
      xii. Hourly touch-point sanitization (workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms).
      a. Hygiene:
      i. Employer must provide hand-washing or sanitizer at customer entrance and in communal spaces.
      ii. Frequent hand washing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels available. 
      iii. Employer must provide for hourly touch-point sanitization (e.g. workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms) throughout work site.
      d. Staffing:
      i.         Provide training for employees regarding these requirements and the COVID-19
                 Mitigation Plan; 
                  ii.        Conduct pre-shift screening, maintain staff screening log;
      iii.       No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will provide services to customers – symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work;
                  iv.        No person may work within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever;
      v.         Employer must establish a plan for employees getting ill and a return-to- work plan following CDC guidance, which can be found here.
       
      e. Cleaning and Disinfecting:  
      i.        Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted in compliance with CDC protocols weekly or, in lieu of performing the CDC cleaning and disinfecting, the retail business             may shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours per week to allow for natural deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a                               comprehensive disinfection of all common surfaces.
      ii.       When an active employee is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, CDC cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as soon after the confirmation of a                 positive test as practical. In lieu of performing CDC cleaning and disinfecting, retail businesses may shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours to allow for           natural deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a comprehensive disinfection of all common surfaces.
      iii. CDC protocols can be found here and here
       
      III. Restaurants are encouraged to follow additional best practices:
       
      a. Entryway, curbside, and home delivery.
      b. Telephone and online ordering for contactless pickup and delivery.
       c. Cashless and receiptless transactions.
      d. Customers enter and exit through different entries using one-way traffic, where possible.
       
       
      Personal Care Services
      Attachment G
      Issued April 22, 2020 Effective April 24, 2020
      State of Alaska COVID-19 Mandate 016 - Attachment G Personal Care Services
      By:  Governor Mike Dunleavy
       Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services 
       Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
       
      I. Applicability: This section applies to personal care services including, but not limited to, the following business types:
                   i.             Hair salons;
       ii.           Day spas and esthetics locations;
      iii.            Nail salons; 
      iv.            Barber shops; 
      v.             Tattoo shops; 
      vi.            Body piercing locations; 
      vii.           Tanning facilities; 
      viii.          Rolfing; 
      ix.            Reiki;
      x.             Lactation consultants;
      xi.            Acupressure.
      x.             Personal Care Services can resume if they meet all of the following     requirements:
       
      a. Compliance with Licensing and Board Direction: Nothing in this mandate or any attachment shall be construed to waive any existing statutory, regulatory, or licensing requirements applicable to providers or businesses operating under this attachment. Service providers should consult their licensing board for additional direction on standards for providing services.
      b. Social Distancing:
      i.             Reservations only. Walk-ins prohibited.
      ii.            No person is allowed to stay in waiting areas. Waiting areas should not have any magazines, portfolios, or catalogues. No beverage service can be provided.
      iii.           Only the customer receiving the service may enter the shop, except for a parent or guardian accompanying a minor or a guardian ad litem or someone with                    legal power of attorney accompanying an individual with disabilities. Drivers, friends, and relatives cannot enter the business.
                  iv.           Limit of one customer per staff person performing personal care services.
      v.            No more than ten people should be in the shop at a time, including staff and clients.
      vi.          Customers must receive pre-visit telephonic consultation to screen for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, recent travel, and exposure to people with                          suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 
      vii.          No more than 20 customers, or 25 percent maximum building occupancy as required by law (whichever is smaller) at any one time; viii. Social distancing of                   at least six feet between customer-employee pairs.
                  viii.         Social distancing of at least six feet between customer-employee pairs.
      ix.           Workstations must be greater than six feet apart to ensure minimum social distancing is maintained.
      x.            Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to protect staff and the public.
      xi.           Entryway signage notifying the public of the business’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan and stating clearly that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID19 may not enter the premises.
      c. Hygiene Protocols:
                                i.             Hand-washing or sanitizer shall be provided at customer entrance.
      ii.            Service providers must wear surgical masks, at a minimum. Cloth face coverings do not provide sufficient protection given the close proximity of individuals.
      iii.           Customers must wear cloth face coverings and wash or sanitize hands upon arrival. Face coverings worn by customers may be removed for a short time when                necessary to perform services, but must be worn at all other times, including when entering and exiting of the shop.
      iv.           Employees must wash their hands frequently, including before and after each client, using an adequate supply of hot water with soap.
      v.            An adequate supply of disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels must be   available. 
      vi.           Owners/employees must clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces periodically throughout the day at least every four hours. This includes tables,                            doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. 
      vii.          Business must have a designated employee on-site responsible for monitoring and following all sanitation protocols. 
      viii.         Workstations, chairs, tools, shampoo bowls, and anything within six feet of seat must be cleaned and disinfected after each patron. In addition, hourly touch-                   point sanitation must occur. 
      ix.           Visibly dirty surfaces must be cleaned immediately. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a disinfectant. Most common EPA
                     registered household disinfectants will work.
      x.            Aprons must be worn by licensed practitioners and changed between each patron. Aprons must be cleaned and disinfected before re-using. 
      xi.           Customer capes are single use only or need to be cleaned and disinfected before re-using.
      xii.          Any sanitation protocols required in state licensing statutes or regulations that are more stringent than those listed in this mandate must be followed.
       
      d. Staffing/Operations: 
      i.        The shop owner is responsible for supplying personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies to its employees or contractors, including masks and                    
      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandate 16 F,G, and H 2020-04-23 08:00:00Z 0


      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandates D and E

      Non-Essential Public Facing Businesses Generally (Not Including Retail)
      Attachment D
      Issued April 22, 2020 Effective April 24, 2020
       
      By:  Governor Mike Dunleavy 
       
      Commissioner Adam Crum Alaska Department of Health and Social Services 
       
      Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
       
      I. Applicability: This section generally applies to businesses interacting with the public which are not included in Attachment A: Alaska Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure Order. Retail businesses are addressed in Attachment E.
       
      II. Non-Essential Businesses can resume operations if they meet all of the following requirements:
       
      a. Social Distancing:
                                i. Reservations only. Walk-ins prohibited.
                               ii. Fabric face coverings must be worn by all employees.
                              iii. No more than 20 customers, or 25% maximum building occupancy as required by law (whichever is smaller) is permitted at any one time.
                              iv. Outdoor businesses are not limited by number of customers, but must maintain social distancing between individuals and household groups.  
                               v. Groups or parties must be limited to household members only.
                              vi. Social distance of at least six feet is maintained between individuals.
      vii. Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to protect staff and the public.
      viii. Entryway signage must notify the public of the business’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan and clearly state that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may not enter the premises.
      b. Hygiene Protocols:
      i. Employer must provide hand-washing or sanitizer at customer entrance and in communal spaces.
      ii. Frequent hand washing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels available.
      iii. Employer must provide for hourly touch-point sanitization (e.g. workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms) throughout work site.
      c. Staffing:
      i. Employer must provide training for employees regarding these requirements and provide each    employee a copy of the business mitigation plan. 
                              ii. Employer must conduct pre-shift screening and maintain staff screening log.
      iii. No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will provide services to customers – symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work
      iv. No employee may report to the work site within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever. v. Employer must establish a plan for employees getting ill and a return to work plan following CDC guidance, which can be found here.
       
      d. Cleaning and Disinfecting:
       i.      Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted in compliance with CDC protocols weekly or, in lieu of performing the CDC cleaning and disinfecting, the business may              shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours per week to allow for natural deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a comprehensive              disinfection of all common surfaces.
      ii.      When an active employee is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, CDC cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as soon after the confirmation of a                positive test as practical. In lieu of performing CDC cleaning and disinfecting, businesses may shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours to allow for natural          deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a comprehensive disinfection of all common surfaces.
                 iii.     CDC protocols can be found here and here.
       
       III. Non-Essential Businesses Requiring In-Home Services
       
      a. Applicability: Businesses not falling under Attachment A: Alaska Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure Workforce which require provision of services in a person’s home. Examples include, but are not limited to, installation of products such as windows, blinds, and furniture, non-critical inspections and appraisals, and showing a home for sale.
      b. These businesses can resume operations if they meet all of the following requirements:
       
                             i.     Social Distancing:
                               1. Fabric face coverings worn by all workers and residents of the home.
                               2. Social distance of at least six feet is maintained between nonhousehold individuals.
                   3. Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to protect staff and the public.
       
                ii. Hygiene Protocols:
                    1. The worker must wash and/or sanitize hands immediately after entering the home and at time of departure.
                    2. The worker must sanitize surfaces worked on, and must provide their own cleaning and sanitation supplies.
                            iii. Staffing:
                    1. Provide training for employees regarding these requirements and the business mitigation plan.
                                            2. Conduct pre-shift screening and maintain staff screening log.
                    3. No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will provide services to customers – symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work.
                                            4. No person may work within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever.
       
      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandates D and E 2020-04-23 08:00:00Z 0

      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandate 16

      Health mandates are orders issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy, Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum, and Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.
      Health mandates must be followed
      .
      Health Mandate 016: Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan - Phase 1-A
      Issued: April 22, 2020
      By:       Governor Mike Dunleavy
       
                  Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
       
                  Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
       
      The State of Alaska is issuing its sixteenth health mandate, based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020. This Mandate will go into effect April 24, 2020. The State of Alaska reserves the right to amend the Mandate at any time.
       
      To date, the State of Alaska has issued 15 mandates to protect the public health of all Alaskans. These mandates, which have been aimed at flattening the curve, have been beneficial in slowing the spread of the disease.
       
      This Mandate seeks to balance the ongoing need to maintain diligent efforts to slow and disrupt the rate of infection with the corresponding critical need to resume economic activity in a reasonable and safe manner.
       
      This Mandate is the first of a series that are intended to reopen Alaska responsibly. By issuing this Mandate, the Governor is establishing consistent mandates across the State in order to mitigate both the public health and the economic impacts of COVID-19 across Alaska.
       
      This Mandate addresses and modifies a number of prior Mandates and Health Care Advisories, as appropriate, to implement Phase I of the “Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan.” If there is any discrepancy between this Mandate, including its attachments, and any other statements, mandates, advisories, or documents regarding the “Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan”, this Mandate and its attachments will govern. FAQs may be issued to bring additional clarity to this Mandate based on questions that may arise.
       
       Health Mandate 016 – REOPEN ALASKA RESPONSIBLY PLAN- PHASE I-A
       
      Health Mandate 016 goes into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020.
       
      Reopening Alaska’s businesses is vital to the state’s economic well-being, and to the ability of Alaskans to provide for their families. At the same time, everyone shares in the obligation to keep Alaska safe and continue to combat the spread of COVID-19. As a result, businesses and employees must, to the extent reasonably feasible, continue to take reasonable care to protect their staff and operations during this pandemic. Meanwhile, all Alaskans have an obligation to help promote public health and fight this pandemic by continuing to follow public health guidance regarding sanitizing, handwashing, and use of face masks. Those that are at high risk of infection are encouraged to continue to self-quarantine, to the extent possible, and strictly follow social distancing mandates and advisories.
       
      Unless explicitly modified by this Mandate as set forth below and in Attachments D through H, prior Mandates remain in effect unless and until they are amended, rescinded, or suspended by further order of the Governor. The Governor and the State of Alaska reserve the right to amend this Mandate at any time in order to protect the public health, welfare, and safety of the public and assure the state’s safe resumption of economic activity.
       
      The activities and businesses listed below that were previously governed by the referenced Mandates may resume under the conditions and guidance provided in the following attachments.
       
      Attachment D – Non-Essential Public Facing Businesses Generally – modifies Mandate 011
      Attachment E – Retail Businesses – modifies Mandate 011
      Attachment F – Restaurants Dine-In Services – modifies Mandate 03.1
      Attachment G – Personal Care Services – modifies Mandate 09
      Attachment H – Non-Essential Non-Public-Facing Businesses – modifies Mandate 011 
       
      PREEMPTION OF LOCAL MANDATES
       
      The policies contained in this Health Mandate are most effective when implemented uniformly across the State. Conflicting local provisions will frustrate this Mandate’s health and economic objectives and, therefore, are irreconcilable with this Mandate’s purposes. Therefore, unless specifically authorized by this, or any another Mandate issued by the Governor, this Mandate, Attachment A (Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order), Attachment B (Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order), and Attachments D through G expressly and intentionally supersede and preempt any existing or future conflicting local, municipal, or tribal mandate, directive, resolution, ordinance, regulation, or other order.
       
      Business operations and other activities permitted to operate under this mandate may not be prohibited by local, municipal, or tribal mandate, directive, resolution, ordinance, regulation, or other order.
       
      Notwithstanding the above, businesses subject to this mandate that are located within the Municipality of Anchorage, must continue to operate under prior state and municipal mandates through 8 a.m. Monday April 27, 2020, at which time, this Mandate will control
      ENFORCEMENT
       
      A violation of a State of Alaska COVID-19 Mandate may subject a business or organization to an order to cease operations and/or a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation. In addition to the potential civil fines noted, a person or organization that fails to follow State COVID-19 Mandates designed to protect the public health from this dangerous virus and its impact may, under certain circumstances, also be criminally prosecuted for Reckless Endangerment pursuant to Alaska Statute 11.41.250. Reckless endangerment is defined as follows:
      (a)          A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages I       n conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another        person.
                  (b)         Reckless endangerment is a class A misdemeanor.
      Pursuant to Alaska Statute 12.55.135, a defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment of not more than one year.
      Additionally, under Alaska Statute 12.55.035, a person may be fined up to $25,000 for a class A misdemeanor, and a business organization may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greatest of $2,500,000 for a misdemeanor offense that results in death, or $500,000 for a class A misdemeanor offense that does not result in death.
       
      ***This Mandate is in effect until rescinded or modified.***
       
      I. Applicability: This section generally applies to businesses interacting with the public which are not included in Attachment A: Alaska Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure Order. Retail businesses are addressed in Attachment E.
       
      II. Non-Essential Businesses can resume operations if they meet all of the following requirements:
                      
      a.            Social Distancing:
       i.            Reservations only. Walk-ins prohibited. 
      ii.            Fabric face coverings must be worn by all employees.
      iii.           No more than 20 customers, or 25% maximum building occupancy as required by law (whichever is smaller) is permitted at any one time.
      iv.           Outdoor businesses are not limited by number of customers, but must maintain social distancing between individuals and household groups.  
      v.            Groups or parties must be limited to household members only.
      vi.           Social distance of at least six feet is maintained between individuals.
      vii.          Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to protect staff and the public.
      viii.        Entryway signage must notify the public of the business’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan and clearly state that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may not enter the premises.
      b. Hygiene Protocols:
       i.            Employer must provide hand-washing or sanitizer at customer entrance and in communal spaces.
      ii.            Frequent hand washing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels available. 
      iii.           Employer must provide for hourly touch-point sanitization (e.g. workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms) throughout work site.
      c. Staffing:
      i.            Employer must provide training for employees regarding these requirements and provide each employee a copy of the business mitigation plan.
       ii.           Employer must conduct pre-shift screening and maintain staff screening log.
      iii.           No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will provide services to customers – symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work
      iv.           No employee may report to the work site within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever.
      v.           Employer must establish a plan for employees getting ill and a return to work plan following CDC guidance, which can be found here.
                     d. Cleaning and Disinfecting:
      i.            Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted in compliance with CDC protocols weekly or, in lieu of performing the CDC cleaning and disinfecting, the business may shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours per week to allow for natural deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a comprehensive disinfection of all common surfaces.
       ii.          When an active employee is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, CDC cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as soon after the confirmation of a positive test as practical. In lieu of performing CDC cleaning and disinfecting, businesses may shut down for a period of at least 72 consecutive hours to allow for natural deactivation of the virus, followed by site personnel performing a comprehensive disinfection of all common surfaces.
      iii.          CDC protocols can be found here and here. 
       III. Non-Essential Businesses Requiring In-Home Services
      a.            Applicability: Businesses not falling under Attachment A: Alaska Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure Workforce which require provision of services in a   person’s home. Examples include, but are not limited to, installation of products such as windows, blinds, and furniture, non-critical inspections and appraisals, and showing a home for sale.
      b.            These businesses can resume operations if they meet all of the following requirements:
      i.             Social Distancing:
      1.            Fabric face coverings worn by all workers and residents of the home.
      2.            Social distance of at least six feet is maintained between non-household individuals.
      3.            Establish a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan addressing the practices and protocols to protect staff and the public.
      ii.            Hygiene Protocols:
                  1. The worker must wash and/or sanitize hands immediately after entering the home and at time of departure.
                  2. The worker must sanitize surfaces worked on, and must provide their own cleaning and sanitation supplies.
      iii.           Staffing:
                               1.            Provide training for employees regarding these requirements and the business mitigation plan.
       2.           Conduct pre-shift screening and maintain staff screening log.
       3.            No employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will provide services to customers – symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work.
       4.            No person may work within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever.
      Alaska Coronavirus Health Mandate 16 2020-04-23 08:00:00Z 0

      Rotary Monitors the Coronavirus Impact

      Rotary is closely monitoring the pandemic of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and continuously assessing the potential impact on Rotary operations, events, and members.
       
      Your health and safety are always our top priorities. Look below for information on Rotary activities that may be affected. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
       
      Read how members are using ingenuity and flexibility to help people affected by coronavirus and to stay connected.
      Affected areas
      Resources 
      Grant options to respond to COVID-19
       
      As people of action, Rotary members want to find ways to respond to COVID-19, and to help people affected by it. The Rotary Foundation offers several options that Rotarians can use to help care for and protect people in their own communities and others around the world.
       
      District grants
       
      Districts can use District Grant funds to support local activities, like purchasing thermometers, protective medical gear, or other items to donate to medical professionals who need them. Districts can also use contingency funds from an open district grant or repurpose previously planned activities as a COVID-19 response. As districts prepare to submit new district grant applications for 2020-21, we encourage you to designate funds for COVID-19 responses. As a one-time exception, the Foundation will allow expenses related to COVID-19 that were incurred since 15 March 2020 to be reimbursed through 2020-21 district grants.
       
      Disaster Response Grants and Rotary’s Disaster Response Fund
       
      Rotary’s Disaster Response Grants provide a fast and effective way to respond to local events. The Rotary Foundation recently added COVID-19 projects to its list of eligible activities for these grants. Each district can apply for one grant (of up to $25,000) to address COVID-19, depending on the availability of funds. Disaster response grants are funded by the Rotary Disaster Response Fund to help districts around the world respond to disasters. The fund accepts online contributions and DDF. Districts may designate that their DDF contributions to the Disaster Response Fund be used exclusively for COVID-19 grant activities. Cash contributions will be used for general disaster response, including response to COVID-19.
       
      Global Grants
       
      Global Grants remain an excellent way to make a transformative impact in a community. If medical equipment is needed in order to respond effectively to COVID-19, global grants can help pay for these items. The Foundation is waiving the 30 percent foreign financing requirement for any new global grant that addresses COVID-19. Note that these grants still require both a host and international partner.
       
      For additional information, contact your Regional GrantsOfficer.
       
      Polio
       
      Using the vast infrastructure developed to identify the poliovirus and deliver vaccination campaigns, the polio eradication program is pitching in to protect the vulnerable from COVID-19, especially in polio-endemic countries. Learn more.
       
      Rotary International Convention
       
      We regret to announce that the Rotary International Convention, scheduled for 6-10 June 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, has been canceled due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Learn more
       
      Other major Rotary events
       
      To protect the health of all involved, Rotary canceled the presidential conferences scheduled for 28 March at UNESCO in Paris, France, and 9 May at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. People who registered will receive an email from the organizers with additional information and details about refunds. 
       
      Club and district meetings
       
      Rotary International recommends that districts and Rotary and Rotaract clubs meet virtually, cancel, or postpone meetings. Learn from other clubs about hosting virtual club meetings in the Learning Center
      Closely examine your personal circumstances, including any health issues, when you consider travel and participation in events.
       
      Rotary leadership, committees, RI secretariat
       
      The RI Board of Directors and The Rotary Foundation Trustees meetings will take place remotely via webinar rather than in-person. 
      All Rotary committees and events scheduled to take place at Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, have been canceled through 31 May. If feasible, committees may choose to hold virtual meetings
      All RI staff travel, both international and domestic, has also been canceled through 31 May. RI staff at Evanston headquarters and all of Rotary’s global offices are practicing social distancing by working from home until least 30 April. 
       
      Rotary Youth Exchange
       
      Contact your partner districts to confirm specific precautions related to COVID-19 where students are being hosted. All districts, as well as students and their parents, should consult travel advisories and guidelines issued by their embassies or consular offices, international public health agencies like the World Health Organization, and local health authorities for the latest and most relevant information.
       
      Districts should strongly consider ending exchanges and returning students home if it is safe and possible to do so. 
       
      In some situations, returning a student home may present a greater risk. Determine how international travel conditions or requirements (medical screenings, preauthorization, etc.), strict quarantine measures, or the situation in a student’s host and home country may impact each student’s return depending on their specific circumstances. However, it is also important to consider how this rapidly changing situation may progress and present new challenges in the future, including the possibility that students may be prevented from returning home for an indefinite period of time.
       
      Districts must communicate regularly with parents or /legal guardians and consult with local embassies, consulates, and public health authorities to make informed decisions that prioritize safety, minimize risk, and consider the impact of each decision related to a student’s exchange. In any event, parents or legal guardians may choose to remove their child from the program at any time.
       
      Also, consider whether student trips or local activities planned for the future could expose participants to an increased risk or to challenges returning home and cancel or postpone all nonessential travel.
       
      Rotary Peace Fellowships and other programs
       
      For peace fellows: Countries listed as Level 3 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been added to Rotary’s travel ban list, and all nonessential travel to, from, or through those countries is restricted for Rotary staff and fellows. Use discretion if you plan to travel to or through Level 2 countries. Fellows currently in a country experiencing the spread of COVID-19 are advised to follow the recommendations of your host university and the country’s national health agencies. 
       
      For first-year fellows preparing for your applied field experience, we recommend you consider options in your study country and have an alternate plan in place in case travel is restricted further. Beyond health and safety concerns, we do not want fellows to be subject to quarantines or have challenges returning to the country where you study because of your field experience travel. You can contact your staff specialist with specific questions about how Rotary’s policy may affect your field experience planning.
       
      For Interact and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA): Consider whether planned events, trips, or local activities could expose young people to an increased risk, and consider canceling or postponing nonessential travel or large gatherings. 
       
      Follow the guidance of schools for any closures or delayed start times that may affect school-based program participants. Discuss how they can stay engaged and safe until school resumes. Talk with parents or guardians about their child’s health and safety and what Rotary clubs and districts are doing to minimize the exposure and impact for participants in Rotary activities and events. 
       
      Participants in Rotary Friendship Exchanges, and Rotary Action Groups and their affiliated chapters should follow recommendations from the World Health Organization and the host region’s national, regional, or local health authorities when considering whether to cancel or postpone events, meetings, or activities.
      Districts organizing international programs such as Rotary Friendship Exchanges and New Generations Service Exchanges could expose participants to an increased risk. Organizers should follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the national, regional, or local health authorities of participating districts when considering whether to cancel or postpone planned trips or activities.
       
      Rotary-funded travel
       
      Any Rotary-funded travel, including grant recipients, Rotary Youth Exchange participants, and Rotary Peace Fellows, have been canceled through 31 May. Direct additional questions about Rotary-funded travel to your appropriate program officer.
      Rotary Monitors the Coronavirus Impact 2020-04-15 08:00:00Z 0

      Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandate  15

      COVID-19 Health Mandates

      Issued By: Governor Mike Dunleavy

      Health mandates are orders issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy, Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum, and Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.


      Health mandates must be followed.

      Health Mandate 015: Services by Health Care Providers

      Issued: April 15, 2020

      By: Governor Mike Dunleavy
      Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
      Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska

      To slow the spread of COVID-19, the State of Alaska is issuing its fifteenth health mandate, based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020.

      While health care is an essential service, there is also the risk of coronavirus spreading in health care facilities and to vulnerable populations. The suspension of non-essential procedures and health care have been beneficial in slowing the spread of the disease. The benefits of suspension must also be balanced with delayed health care and other health outcomes.

      Health Mandate 015 is being issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy and the State of Alaska. Mandate 015 will go into effect in phases, with Section II going into effect April 20, 2020 and Section IV going into effect May 4, 2020; however, the State of Alaska reserves the right to amend the Mandate at any time.

      This Mandate supersedes Mandate 005 and 006 and affects the health care providers directly addressed in Mandate 009.

      Health Mandate 015 – Services by Health Care Providers

      I. Applicability: This Mandate applies to the following heath care facilities and health care providers:

      a. Heath Care Facilities
      i. Hospitals, private, municipal, state, or federal, including tribal
      ii. Independent diagnostic testing facilities
      iii. Residential psychiatric treatment centers
      iv. Skilled and intermediate nursing facilities
      v. Kidney disease treatment, including free-standing facilities
      vi. Ambulatory surgery centers
      vii. Free-standing birth centers
      viii. Home health agencies
      ix. Hospice
      x. Rural health clinics defined under AS 47.32.900(21) and 7 AAC 12.450
      xi. A health care provider office (for reference see 7 AAC 07.001)

      b. Health Care Providers as Defined in Statute
      i. Acupuncturists
      ii. Ambulatory Surgery Centers
      iii. Assistant Behavior Analysts
      iv. Athletic Trainers
      v. Audiologists/Speech-Language Pathologists
      vi. Behavior Analysts
      vii. Certified Nurse Aides
      viii. Chiropractors
      ix. Dental Hygienists
      x. Dentists
      xi. Dieticians
      xii. Hospitals
      xiii. Hearing Aid Dealers
      xiv. Health Aides
      xv. Long-Term Care Facilities
      xvi. Marital and Family Therapists
      xvii. Massage Therapists
      xviii. Midwives
      xix. Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics
      xx. Naturopaths
      xxi. Nurses
      xxii. Nutritionists
      xxiii. Occupational Therapy Assistants
      xxiv. Opticians
      xxv. Optometrists
      xxvi. Pharmacists
      xxvii. Pharmacy Technicians
      xxviii. Physical Therapists
      xxix. Occupational Therapists
      xxx. Physician Assistants
      xxxi. Physicians/Osteopathic Physicians
      xxxii. Podiatrists
      xxxiii. Professional Counselors
      xxxiv. Psychologists
      xxxv. Psychological Associates
      xxxvi. Religious Healing Practitioners
      xxxvii. Social Workers
      xxxviii. Veterinarians
      xxxix. Students training for a licensed profession who are required to receive training in a health care facility as a condition of licensure

      II. Health Care Delivery
      Section II goes into effect April 20, 2020

      a. Health care facilities and providers defined in statute and listed in Section I, will be able to resume services that require minimal protective equipment and follow the guidance below.
      i. Every effort should continue to be made to deliver care without being in the same physical space, such as utilizing telehealth, phone consultation, and physical barriers between providers and patients.
      ii. All health care, delivered both in and out of health care facilities, (this includes hospitals, surgical centers, long-term care facilities, clinic and office care, as well as home care) shall deploy universal masking procedures in coordination with the facility infection control program. This may be a combination of cloth face coverings (for employees not present for provision of services or procedures, such as front desk staff) and surgical masks for those involved in non-aerosolizing direct-patient care.
      iii. Regardless of symptoms, all health care facilities should screen all patients for recent illness, travel, fever, or recent exposure to COVID-19, and to the extent that is possible, begin testing all admitted patients.
      iv. Every effort shall be made to minimize aerosolizing procedure (such as a nerve block over deep sedation or intubation).
      v. Other urgent or emergent procedures with an increased risk of exposure, such as deliveries, dental work, aerosolizing procedures such as suctioning, intubation, and breathing treatments, should have patients tested for SARS CoV-2 prior to the procedure or birth, to the extent that is reasonably possible, after considering available testing capacity and any other relevant constraints. In the alternative, clinicians should use rigorous screening procedures and treat suspicious patients as if they are positive for COVID-19.
      vi. It is the duty of the provider to ensure the health considerations of staff and patients. This includes the health of the provider, ensuring providers not come to work while ill, minimizing travel of providers, and adequate personal protective equipment. They are also encouraged to utilize the following means of protection:
      1. Pre-visit telephonic screening and questionnaire.
      2. Entry screening.
      3. Lobbies and waiting rooms with defined and marked social distancing and limited occupancy.
      4. Other personal and environmental mitigation efforts such as gloves, exceptional hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and enhanced airflow.

      III. Urgent and Emergent Services

      a. Health care services that are urgent or emergent should continue, but with the enhanced screening and safety measures listed in Section II.
      i. In addition to emergent surgeries and procedures that cannot be delayed without significant risk to life, surgeries and procedures are permitted to proceed if delay is deemed to cause significant impact on health, livelihood, or quality of life. Each facility should review these procedures with its task force that was created in the April 7, 2020 revision to COVID-19 Health Mandate 005. Surgeries and procedures that can be delayed without posing a significant risk to health, livelihood, or quality of life must be postponed until further notice.
      ii. All patients coming to surgery should be tested for SARS CoV-2 within 48 hours of their procedure. If positive, all procedures should be considered for delay, and specifically those procedures not urgent or emergent, as defined by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), should be postponed or canceled. If a facility is unable to test patients within 48 hours of their procedure, facilities should use rigorous screening procedures and treat suspicious patients as if they are positive for COVID-19.

      IV. Provision for Resuming Non-Urgent/Non-Emergent Elective Services

      a. Health care services that cannot be delayed beyond eight weeks without posing a significant risk to quality of life may resume Monday May 4, 2020 if the following conditions are met:
      i. Health care delivery can meet all of the standards outlined in Section II of this mandate.
      ii. Health care is delivered by a provider listed in statute (see Section I).
      iii. Health care can be safely done with a surgical mask, eye protection and gloves.
      iv. If the procedure puts the health care worker at increased risk such as deliveries, dental work, or aerosolizing procedures such as suctioning, intubation, or breathing treatments then a negative PCR for Sars-CoV-2 must be obtained within 48 hours prior to the procedure.
      v. There are to be no visitors in health care facilities except for: end-of-life visits; a parent of a minor; a support person for labor and delivery settings; and only one (1) spouse or caregiver that resides with the patient will be allowed into the facility during the day of a surgery or procedure and at the time of patient discharge to allow for minimal additional exposure. If a caregiver does not reside with the patient, they can be with the patient at the time of discharge. Any of the allowed visitors must wear a fabric face covering.
      vi. Workers must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from non-patients and must minimize contact with the patient.
      vii. Exceptional environmental mitigation strategies must be maintained, including the protection of lobbies and front desk staff.
      viii. Unlicensed assistive personnel necessary to procedures under this section may be included in service delivery.

      V. Other Considerations
      a. Patients traveling for medical procedures and health care services is allowed under Health Mandate 012 to travel within Alaska as a critical personal need.
      b. Patients whose communities have established quarantines for return from intra-state travel as outlined in Attachment B – Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order, should have a plan in place, developed with their local community, for return home after their procedures.
      c. Transportation may be arranged on behalf of individuals who must travel to receive medical care and must be able to return home following the medical treatment or must arrange for their own accommodations if they are unable to return home.
      d. Every effort should be made to minimize physical interaction and encourage alternative means such as telehealth and videoconferencing. For many licensed health care professionals, this will mean continued delays in care or postponing care.
      e. Every effort should be made in the outpatient and ambulatory care setting to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and follow the following guidelines:
      • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ambulatory-care-settings.html
      f. Dental work carries an added risk of spreading COVID-19, especially to the dentist who can spread it to others and so dental guidance should be followed and are listed here:
      • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html
      g. Dialysis centers provide life-saving work, but it is also a place where high-risk individuals congregate. They need to follow the following guidelines:
      • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dialysis.html

      *** State of Alaska reserves the right to change this mandate at any time ***

      THIS MANDATE SUPERSEDES ANY AND ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES OR ORDERS PUT INTO EFFECT BY BOROUGHS, MUNICIPALITIES, CITIES, VILLAGES, AND TRIBES.

      For the latest information on COVID-19, visit covid19.alaska.gov

      State of Alaska COVID-19 Mandate 015

      Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandate  15 2020-04-15 08:00:00Z 0

      Several Articles on Protecting Yourself and Others From Covid-19

       

      How To See How Germs Can Spread (Coronavirus)


      Yes, You Can Spread Coronavirus Even If You Don’t Have Symptoms
      Tara C. Smith, Ph.D.
      6 days agoMiddle-aged Asian man looking through a window, sipping coffee and using ideas
      © Getty Middle-aged Asian man looking through a window, sipping coffee and using ideas
       
      There’s one question about the new coronavirus that keeps coming up over and over again: Why should I have to stay at home, avoid seeing my friends, and not let my kids play with other kids if we’re all fine and healthy? None of us have symptoms, none of us have been exposed, none of us are high-risk. We don’t even have many cases in our area. Why do we still have to isolate ourselves as much as possible?
       
      The short answer: Because we know that the new coronavirus can spread before people have symptoms. And we know that not everyone is getting tested. So, it’s entirely possible that while everyone in your immediate circle seems fine and safe, there’s (at least) one person who is unknowingly spreading the virus without any symptoms at all. It’s also possible that this is happening outside your immediate circle, but somewhere else in your town, leading to a swath of cases that no one will see coming until some people do start to have symptoms, end up in the hospital, and start getting tested.
       
      This is why we all need to be social distancing—even when it seems like it shouldn’t apply to you.
       
       
      But what we’re still figuring out is when exactly the new coronavirus is contagious in people without symptoms, when you can expect to see symptoms after being exposed, and whether or not the people who never get symptoms can still actively spread the disease around.
       
      To sort through what we know about these questions, I reached out to virologist Chad Petit, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Caroline Colijn, Ph.D., an infectious disease modeler at Simon Fraser University in Canada.
       
      This is how a virus spreads.
       
      First, let’s discuss what we mean when we say “viral transmission,” which refers to the process by which viruses spread from host to host. “Typically, this is person to person but can also include viruses jumping from one species to another,” Petit tells SELF. (It’s thought that the new coronavirus entered the human population through this mechanism, probably from a bat but potentially via another animal species.)
       
      The new coronavirus mostly seems to be spreading via “droplet transmission.” This happens when someone close to you (within about six feet) is coughing, sneezing, talking, or even just breathing and releases droplets containing the virus, which can then land on your nose and mouth and enter your system. These droplets can also land on surfaces, like countertops and doorknobs, which you might then touch. If you touch your face afterward, especially your eyes, mouth, or nose, the virus can get into your body.
       
      Once the virus is in your body, it can attach to and enter your cells. While inside a host cell, “the virus shuts down the cell’s defense mechanisms and commandeers your cell’s resources to make more viruses, essentially turning your own cell into a virus-producing factory,” each of which can release more viruses to start the process all over again on other cells, Petit says.
       
      UP NEXT
       
      Click on Picture to Run Video
       
      This kicks off the incubation period, which is the timeframe when your body is producing more of the virus but you’re not yet showing symptoms like a fever, aches, coughing, and shortness of breath. “During this time, there may not be any clinical symptoms to alert the person that they are, in fact, infected,” Petit explains, but you could still be infecting other people. This is called “presymptomatic transmission,” and it’s the reason why you can’t just say, “Well, I’m not sick, and no one I’m spending time with is sick, and none of us have been exposed to anyone showing symptoms—so aren’t we in the clear?” Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that.
      Research does back up the idea that people are likely spreading the new coronavirus before they have symptoms. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rporte found that 331 of 712 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 didn’t have any symptoms when they tested positive. That amounted to 46.5 percent of those with positive tests—so, almost half. They could have had the potential to spread the virus at that time, but we aren’t sure how much that actually happened. Another CDC article described how the new coronavirus spread from one teacher to two others during a dinner meeting on January 6. The first person in this trio to develop symptoms started feeling ill two days after the dinner, and the others—who aren’t known to have had any other potential COVID-19 exposures—developed symptoms four and six days after the dinner, respectively. They all appeared to be in fine health at the dinner, but it seems that one teacher still spread the new coronavirus to the others, who then reportedly spread it to some of their family members.
       
      We still don’t know exactly when in the incubation period someone starts being contagious.
       
      To determine the incubation period, we test sick individuals, figure out who they were in contact with and who might have been exposed to the virus, and then follow those exposed contacts over time to see if they get sick. If we know when those individuals were exposed and when they came down with the illness, then we can figure out the incubation period. “Currently, the incubation period typically lasts for 2 to 7 days ([with an] estimated median incubation period of 5.1 days), with 98 percent of those infected developing symptoms within 11.5 days,” Petit explains, adding that these numbers might shift when we have more information from new cases. A small percentage of people seem not to show symptoms until closer to 14 days.
       
      But that still doesn’t tell us exactly when during the incubation period a person can spread the virus. It can’t be right at the beginning, because the virus hasn’t started to grow inside a person’s system at that point. Colijn is currently working on a project to figure this out.
       
      “We can compare two things: (a) the incubation period,” she tells SELF, “and (b) the serial interval, the time between one person getting symptoms and someone they infected getting symptoms.” Colijn and her fellow researchers have described their findings in this study, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed but still offers interesting insights into this question. When analyzing information from Singapore and Tianjin, China, they found that the serial interval was shorter than the incubation period, meaning people seem able to spread the new coronavirus before they feel sick. Specifically, the study suggests that people may be able to transmit the virus to others at least three days before their own symptoms develop.
       
      And what about people who test positive but never seem to develop symptoms?
       
      The CDC study of cruise ship COVID-19 transmission determined that almost 18 percent of people on the Diamond Princess who had the new coronavirus never showed symptoms at all, then recovered. They apparently remained asymptomatic.
       
      “Data on those who are completely asymptomatic is a major gap right now,” Colijn says. She explains that we can start to fill this gap when we can do large-scale serological tests to measure COVID-19 antibodies in people’s blood. This will tell us who was exposed to the virus at some point in the past but may never have known they were infected because they never felt ill. But until we have those widespread testing capabilities, we won’t have the full picture of who exactly is spreading the virus and when.
       
      If people can spread the virus before they have symptoms, controlling the spread requires drastic measures.
       
      For now, we’re still left with questions about how and when asymptomatic and presymptomatic COVID-19 spread is occurring. But we do know this: An outbreak is more difficult to control if we can spread the disease even when we don’t have symptoms. Yes, as Petit notes, it can seem completely counterintuitive that you could have COVID-19 but feel fine. But when people try to go about their daily lives as much as possible right now, it’s enhancing the spread of the virus, Petit explains. There’s really no way around that. This means that we can’t just take precautions if we’re feeling sick or think we’ve been exposed to someone who is sick.  
       
      This is why social distancing is critical right now (along with other important practices like washing your hands well and often). It’s why we’re telling you not to meet up with your friends, or go out to the bar that’s still open in your town, or schedule a playdate for your kids, or otherwise carry on as you normally would. We can’t just assume that we would know if someone was transmitting the virus. Because, at this point, we don’t.
       
      Even if you think your risk of getting sick is low, don’t let that perception make you feel like the rules don’t apply to you. You have no way of knowing if anyone you come into contact with has the virus or was recently exposed to someone who does, regardless of symptoms. And if you think you’re not at risk because you’re young and healthy, you should know that experts are starting to realize even younger people with no underlying health conditions can become extremely sick and, tragically, even die from COVID-19.
       
      “We will be unlikely to control this by only isolating ill people,” Colijn says. “[There’s] need for broader measures—keeping away from each other—even if we don't know that we are sick.” She also cautions patience and notes that we won’t see the effects of social distancing immediately. “Cases that are confirmed today were infected some time ago, and we have only just started seriously physically distancing ourselves,” she says. “So take heart,” she adds. “We hope to see the results soon.”
      Several Articles on Protecting Yourself and Others From Covid-19 2020-04-08 08:00:00Z 0

      6 Mild Symptoms of Coronavirus You Shouldn’t Ignore, According to Doctors

      Korin Miller
      4 days ago
       
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made the symptoms of COVID-19 crystal clear: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But as more and more people develop the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, experts are seeing a wide range of symptoms in patients—and they tend to overlap with the common cold, flu, and even allergies.
      a person lying on a bed: The signs of COVID-19 can go beyond a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Here, doctors explain the mild symptoms of novel coronavirus you shouldn’t ignore.© Westend61 - Getty Images The signs of COVID-19 can go beyond a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Here, doctors explain the mild symptoms of novel coronavirus you shouldn’t ignore.
       
      The CDC maintains those big three are the symptoms of novel coronavirus, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has a more extensive list that includes 14 different symptoms detected in people with mild cases of COVID-19. That’s a big deal, since “most people infected with the COVID-19 virus have mild disease and recover,” per a February report of a joint World Health Organization-China mission. In fact, that report found that 80% of confirmed patients had mild to moderate disease.
       
      So, which coronavirus symptoms should you be paying closer attention to—and what should you do if you think you may be infected? Here’s what doctors want you to know.
       
      Back up: Why does the CDC only list three novel coronavirus symptoms?
       
      “It’s because these are the most common symptoms in the U.S.,” says Richard Watkins, M.D., infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
      • Fever: This is by far the most common sign of COVID-19, and is defined by having a temperature of 100.4° F or higher.
      • Cough: Experts say patients typically develop a dry cough, meaning you’re coughing but nothing is coming up, like phlegm or mucus.
      • Shortness of breath: This symptom often presents in more advanced cases and can range in severity. Some people simply feel winded by otherwise normal activities, while others end up having trouble breathing on their own. “It feels like you’re not getting enough air,” says David Cutler, M.D., a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.
      That said, several studies have shown a solid number of people infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms. “We are likely missing many cases here in the U.S.,” Dr. Watkins says.
       
      What are the mild symptoms of novel coronavirus?
       
      In the WHO report, the organization analyzes nearly 56,000 cases of COVID-19 in China and breaks down a wide range of “typical” symptoms, as well as how often people with the virus experienced them:
      • Fever (87.9%)
      • Dry cough (67.7%)
      • Fatigue (38.1%)
      • Sputum production (33.4%)
      • Shortness of breath (18.6%)
      • Sore throat (13.9%)
      • Headache (13.6%)
      • Muscle aches and pains (14.8%)
      • Chills (11.4%)
      • Nausea or vomiting (5.0%)
      • Nasal congestion (4.8%)
      • Diarrhea (3.7%)
      • Coughing up blood (0.9%)
      • Red eyes (0.8%)
      A lost sense of smell wasn’t on the WHO’s list, but several organizations—including the British Rhinological Society, British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, and American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), say it’s a possible symptom, too.
       
      Below, what you need to know about the mild symptoms that didn’t make the CDC’s list:
       
      1. Lost sense of smell
      This “has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms,” the AAO-HNS said in a statement. “It could potentially be used as a screening tool to help identify otherwise asymptomatic patients, who could then be better instructed on self-isolation.” According to a joint statement from the British Rhinological Society and British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, two out of every three people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany had a lost sense of smell, and 30% of patients in South Korea who tested positive experienced the same thing.
       
      “Viruses are a common cause of changes to the sense of smell or taste that can occur with an upper respiratory infection,” says Rachel Kaye, M.D., assistant professor of laryngology-voice, airway, and swallowing disorders at Rutgers University. “Viral infection can result in both inflammation and swelling of the nasal cavity lining, leading to nasal congestion, which in turn causes a change in smell. Furthermore, there is also some evidence that viral infection can lead to neurologic damage in the smell receptors.”
       
      2. Fatigue
      It’s not shocking that a viral infection would cause people to feel completely wiped out, says Susan Besser, M.D., a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Your body is working hard to fight the virus, and that requires a lot of energy,” she says. “It doesn’t leave much energy left over for you.”
       
      3. Sputum production
      Sputum production, a.k.a. excess mucus that you may cough up, isn’t super common with COVID-19, but it’s common enough that more than a third of patients have experienced it. Dr. Cutler points out that sputum production is common with plenty of other respiratory conditions, like the common cold and allergies, so you shouldn’t rush to assume you have coronavirus if you’re experiencing this.
       
      4. Sore throat
      Because COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, you may have postnasal drip (where excess mucus drips down the back of your nose and throat) and that can cause irritation in your throat, Dr. Besser says. Also, constantly coughing can be tough on your throat in general.
       
      5. Aches, pains, and headaches
      These are common symptoms with viruses, Dr. Cutler says. “When you get a viral infection, often you get a fever and that fever response can cause the body to feel achy all over,” he explains. “We see that with the flu and other infections as well.”
       
      6. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
      There’s no clear reason to explain why this is happening in some people, Dr. Besser says, but she has some theories. “It’s possibly due to increased drainage from postnasal drip into the stomach—that can cause issues,” she says. It could also just be the way the virus itself behaves in some people, she says.
       
      New research in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that a “unique sub-group” of COVID-19 patients develop digestive symptoms. “In some cases, the digestive symptoms, particularly diarrhea, can be the initial presentation of COVID-19, and may only later or never present with respiratory symptoms or fever,” the researchers wrote.
       
      They believe these symptoms may occur because the virus enters your system through “a receptor found in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract where it is expressed at nearly 100-fold higher levels than in respiratory organs.”
       
      What should you do if you think you have novel coronavirus symptoms?
      If you’re experiencing multiple symptoms of COVID-19, get your doctor on the phone. You should not go to the hospital, because you could potentially spread the virus if you do have it or pick it up if you actually don’t. Once you discuss your symptoms, your doctor will be able to determine if you qualify for a COVID-19 test and go from there.
       
      However, there is no specific cure for novel coronavirus and most people are being advised to treat mild symptoms with over-the-counter remedies while isolating at home for at least 14 days, Dr. Watkins says. “Many people have symptoms for two weeks—some longer and others a shorter duration,” he adds.
       
      For a fever, aches, and pains, have acetaminophen (Tylenol) on hand and follow the label’s dosage instructions. Turn to cough medicine or tea with honey to relieve your cough or sore throat. Plenty of rest and fluids are also recommended. If you notice your symptoms getting worse, though, call your doctor again about next steps. And if the following occur, the CDC says it’s your cue to head to the hospital: 
      • Trouble breathing
      • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
      • New confusion or inability to arouse
      • Bluish lips or face
      • Other severe or concerning symptoms (like a fever that won’t die down)
      When can you leave your home after experiencing novel coronavirus symptoms?
       
      The CDC has guidelines that depend on whether you have access to a COVID-19 test.
       
      If you will not have a test, the CDC says you can leave home after these three things happen:
      • You don’t have a fever for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
      • Your symptoms have improved.
      • At least seven days have passed since you first had symptoms.
      If you will have a test, you can leave home after the following:
      • You no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
      • Your symptoms have improved.
      • You received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.
      When in doubt, call your doctor to be on the safe side.
       
      From PREVENTION
       
       
       
      6 Mild Symptoms of Coronavirus You Shouldn’t Ignore, According to Doctors 2020-04-06 08:00:00Z 0

      THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS:  Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public?

      Health Experts Revisit The Question
      CARMEL WROTH
      Even without symptoms, you might have the virus and be able to spread it when out in public, say researchers who now are reconsidering the use of surgical masks.
      Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images
       
      Updated March 31, 8:25 p.m. ET
       
      A few months ago, it may have seemed silly to wear a face mask during a trip to the grocery store. And in fact, the mainline public health message in the U.S. from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been that most people don't need to wear masks.
       
      But as cases of the coronavirus have skyrocketed, there's new thinking about the benefits that masks could offer in slowing the spread. The CDC says it is now reviewing its policy and may be considering a recommendation to encourage broader use.
       
      At the moment, the CDC website says the only people who need to wear a face mask are those who are sick or are caring for someone who is sick and unable to wear a mask.
       
      But in an interview with NPR on Monday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the agency is taking another look at the data around mask use by the general public.
       
      "I can tell you that the data and this issue of whether it's going to contribute [to prevention] is being aggressively reviewed as we speak," Redfield told NPR.
       
      And Tuesday, President Trump weighed in suggesting people may want to wear scarves. "I would say do it," he said, noting that masks are needed for health care works. "You can use scarves, you can use something else," he said.
       
      On Tuesday Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, said the task force is still discussing whether to change to the recommendation on masks.
       
      Other prominent public health experts have been raising this issue in recent days. Wearing a mask is "an additional layer of protection for those who have to go out," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told NPR in an interview. It's a step you can take — on top of washing your hands and avoiding gatherings.
       
      In a paper outlining a road map to reopen the country, Gottlieb argues that the public should be encouraged to wear masks during this current period of social distancing, for the common good.
       
      "Face masks will be most effective at slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 if they are widely used, because they may help prevent people who are asymptomatically infected from transmitting the disease unknowingly," Gottlieb wrote. Gottlieb points to South Korea and Hong Kong — two places that were shown to manage their outbreaks successfully and where face masks are used widely.
       
      A prominent public health leader in China also argues for widespread use of masks in public. The director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, George Gao, told Science that the U.S. and Europe are making a "big mistake" with people not wearing masks during this pandemic. Specifically, he said, mask use helps tamp down the risk presented by people who may be infected but aren't yet showing symptoms.
       
      If those people wear masks, "it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others," Gao told Science.
       
      The argument for broadening the use of face masks is based on what scientists have learned about asymptomatic spread during this pandemic.
       
      It turns out that many people who are infected with the virus have no symptoms — or only mild symptoms.
       
      What this means is that there's no good way to know who's infected. If you're trying to be responsible when you go out in public, you may not even know that you're sick and may be inadvertently shedding the virus every time you talk with someone, such as a grocery store clerk.
       
      "If these asymptomatic people could wear face masks, then it could be helpful to reduce the transmission in the community," says Elaine Shuo Feng, an infectious disease epidemiology researcher at the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford.
       
      Given the reality of asymptomatic spread, masks may be a good socially responsible insurance policy, Gottlieb argues. "[Wearing masks] protects other people from getting sick from you," he says.
       
      But there is still a big concern about mask shortages in the United States. A survey released Friday from the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that about 92% of 213 cities did not have an adequate supply of face masks for first responders and medical personnel.
       
      At this point, experts emphasize that the general public needs to leave the supply of N95 medical masks to health care workers who are at risk every day when they go to work.
       
      And supplies are also tight for surgical masks, the masks used everywhere from dentists' offices to nail salons and that are even handcrafted.
       
      "We need to be very mindful that the supply chain for masks is extremely limited right now," Gottlieb says. "So you really don't want to pull any kind of medical masks out of the system."
       
      Given current shortages, it may be too soon to tell the general public to start wearing surgical masks right now. "We certainly don't have enough masks in health care," says William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. "I wouldn't want people to go out and buy them now, because we don't want to siphon them off from health care."
       
      Where does that leave us? Some research has shown that cotton T-shirt material and tea towels might help block respiratory droplets emitting from sick people, even if the effect is minimal.
       
      "Homemade masks, shawls, scarves and anything that you can conjure up at home might well be a good idea," says Schaffner. "It's not clear that it's going to give a lot of protection, but every little bit of protection would help."
       
      But experts say homemade masks may not be effective if not constructed and handled properly.
       
      That's why Gottlieb says the CDC should issue guidelines advising people on how to construct their own cotton masks. "Cotton masks constructed in a proper way should provide a reasonable degree of protection from people being able to transmit the virus," he told NPR.
       
      There's no definitive evidence from published research that wearing masks in public will protect the person wearing the mask from contracting diseases. In fact, randomized controlled trials — considered the gold standard for testing the effectiveness of an intervention — are limited, and the results from those trials were inconclusive, says Feng.
       
      But Feng points out that randomized clinical trials have not shown significant effects for hand hygiene either. "But for mechanistic reasons, we believe hygiene can be a good way to kill pathogens, and WHO still recommends hand hygiene," she says.
       
      And those randomized studies were looking at how the face mask could protect the wearer, but what experts are arguing is that face masks may prevent infected but asymptomatic people from transmitting the virus to others. It's hard to come by data on this point. One meta-analysis reviewing mask use during the SARS epidemic found that wearing masks — in addition to other efforts to block transmission, including hand-washing — was beneficial. Another meta-analysis of mask use to prevent influenza transmission was not conclusive but showed masks possibly help.
       
      The research may not be conclusive, but researchers we interviewed agreed that mask use is better than nothing. "There are some modest data that it will provide some modest protection," Schaffner says. "And we can use all the protection we can get."
       
      Concern over presymptomatic spread in the community has also led some hospitals to change their policies and extend the use of masks to nonclinical employees and visitors. Last week, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston took the unusual step of giving surgical or procedural face masks to all employees who go into the hospital to work, even if they don't provide care to patients, the hospital's Infection Control Unit associate chief, Erica Shenoy, told NPR.
       
      "This runs very contrary to what we normally do in infection control," she says. "But we felt that with the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, this is the right decision at this time." She says if an employee were to get sick while at work, "the face masks would serve to contain the virus particles and reduce the risk of patients and others working at our facilities."
       
      On March 29, the University of California, San Francisco, also started giving surgical masks to all staff, faculty, trainees and visitors before they enter any clinical care building within the UCSF system.
       
      Feng cautions that if people do start wearing face masks regularly in public, it is important to wear them properly. She notes that the World Health Organization has a video on how to practice correct hygiene when putting on or taking off a mask.
       
      Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease researcher and biodefense consultant, is skeptical that healthy members of the public need to start wearing masks regularly — she says people should follow current CDC guidelines. But she emphasizes that if you are going to wear a mask, "you have to wear it appropriately." That means, she says, "you have to discard it when it gets damp or moist. You want to stop touching the front of it. Don't reach under to scratch your nose or mouth."
       
      Otherwise, she warns, wearing masks could give "a false sense of security."
      THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS:  Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? 2020-04-01 08:00:00Z 0

      MYTHBUSTERS ‘CONTAMINATION’ EXPERIMENT PROVES WHY SOCIAL DISTANCING IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT
       


      Embrace your inner germaphobe…

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      •                                                         
      •                                                       Wednesday 25th March, 2020

      We all know how fast the germs can spread. When we’re in the supermarket we give other shoppers a wide berth. When we’re on a plane or train we remind ourselves not to touch our face. When walking down the street we hold our breath as a jogger passes. After paying for takeaway we sanitize our hands.

      Then we go for dinner at our parents’ house, or friends’ and let our guard down. While this kind of gathering should now be curtailed (with the new recommendations in place), as little as two weeks ago Australians were still having large scale weddings. Even now, weddings are still allowed (though there are new, significant restrictions on their size).

      In this atmosphere, we let our guard down. But as the following Mythbusters video shows, these kind of scenarios are one of the worst when it comes to contamination. And before The Glib retort: “If you’re living with your friends or family (or spending time with them) you’re screwed anyway,” – we’d highly encourage you to watch the video.

      In the video, Adam has a drip attached to his nose, set to leak at the same rate as a usual runny nose. The liquid leaked is invisible to the naked eye, but detectable to UV light. His mission? Infect as many of the unwary guests as possible, without doing anything people don’t usually do at a dinner party. The result: overwhelming success.

      Though it appears today’s virus spreads even faster than the fake version of a cold this Mythbusters video tested, it proves two crucial points. Firstly: being a germaphobe pays off. And secondly: social distancing is crucial if you want to reduce your infection risk.

      Both points appear to be resonating with people. Even though the video was published in 2015, people are watching it today.

      In fact, the top comment is: “Who else is watching this to find out/learn how easy this could spread?”

      “Looks like germaphobes will have a higher survival rate….be like the germaphobes.”

      “This probably is great timing,” wrote another. “Practice social distancing right now during this time.”

      MYTHBUSTERS ‘CONTAMINATION’ EXPERIMENT PROVES WHY SOCIAL DISTANCING IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT  2020-03-31 08:00:00Z 0
      Alaska Covid-19 Mandates #11 and #12 2020-03-27 08:00:00Z 0
      Alaska Covid-19 Mandates #9 and #10 2020-03-25 08:00:00Z 0

      Why to Use a Face Mask, and How to Make One

       
      The China Red Cross delegation to Italy was appalled that social isolation was so weak, because it was obvious that everyone was not required to use a face mask.  Doctors say that masks are needed for sick people to prevent droplet spread when talking, clearing a throat, or respiratory action. We now know that there are many non-symptomatic infected people spreading the virus, who have no knowledge that they are infected.  The only way to have almost 100% of droplet spread stopped is to have 100% of all people using masks when in public. That also gets rid of any 'you’re sick' stigma. Droplet spread from less than 6 feet is the most prevalent form of transmission, followed by droplet contamination of surfaces. These transmission methods both can be greatly reduced with community use of masks, including homemade cloth masks. Community use of sewn cloth masks also reserves medical grade masks for the health care system.
       
      The news videos of each country that has 'controlled' the Coronavirus pandemic show 100% mask usage when people are outdoors or in public.  In a time of mask shortage, we are trying to give you a way to get a useable mask.  These are not normally as good as an N95 mask, and are NOT recommended for those who are actually known to have the coronavirus, but are FAR better than nothing.  This has been proven, and is recommended by the CDC.
       
      In order to make it more likely that people can get a useable and useful mask, we are including some patterns for you on the < homerrotary.org > website.  Some are very easy to make, and most will work well for everyone. The biggest thing is to get a good seal, so that you are actually breathing THROUGH the cloth.  Using 1/8” elastic seems to be the most comfortable to use for holding the masks in place, but make them so that people will actually use them.  If useable elastic is not available, ribbons that will tie around your head will work.  Please remember, the masks are for preventing the spread of disease, not to stigmatize anyone.  If we are all wearing masks, we are all less likely to get a disease.
       
      People can get many patterns to sew their own or for their community. Many use double layers of cloth, but they may be so thick they do not pass air well. If you, or your child, cannot breathe through the mask, find something easier to breathe through. A single layer of flannel passes air but absorbs or stops passage of droplets created when talking, coughing, or sneezing. Remember, CDC says washing with soap and water will kill the virus, so these are reusable for the non-medical community after soap and water washing. An individual may need two or three for a day, but all can be washed, dried, and be ready for reuse overnight. People should save the used masks for washing in a plastic bag, and to treat them as contaminated until washing.  Of course, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling droplet laden used masks. 100% cotton cloth (no synthetic or synthetic blends) works best.
       
       We have lots of people sitting at home across the area wanting to know how to help. This could be a great local Rotary project, similar to the prevention project of Polio Plus.
       
      Paul
      Why to Use a Face Mask, and How to Make One 2020-03-25 08:00:00Z 0

      How to Make a Simple Particle Mask.

      This is a homemade particle mask as made by Tina Seaton.  It is pretty simple, and works very well.  The "pipe cleaner" used as a stiffener is something that makes this mask work very well by allowing you to form the mask around the nose.  Apparently the large diameter pipe cleaners cut in half work out very well. Dimensions can be adjusted to better fit smaller or larger people. there are many other designs available on the internet.
       
      Several studies have been done on the best cloth to use.  Tea towels or dish towels appear to provide the best filtration, with two layers providing up to 97% filtration, but being almost impossible to breathe through.  The flannel here works very well, and is normally fairly comfortable. Normally, new cloth is washed prior to making the masks. then washed again afterwards. Using soap and as hot water as is available works the best.  This decreases the likelihood of contamination, also.
       
      Large Size7"x 11"
       
      Fold Over and Sew End Seams
       
       
      Half a Pipe Cleaner Sewn Into Upper Seam.  1/8" Elastic, 7" Long On Each End.
       
      Fold Up and Sew Bottom, Catching Elasticat Corners.  Reinforce Stich on Elastic
       
      Three Tucks On Each End (Folded the Same Way).  Sew on Each End.

      A View of One End of the Mask Illustrating the Folds
       
      And Here Is Paul Modeling the Mask.
      How to Make a Simple Particle Mask. 2020-03-24 08:00:00Z 0

      How Soap Kills the Coronavirus

      We are being told constantly that we need to wash with soap and water.  Our hands, our faces, etc., Here are two short videos that tell us how and why this works to help protect us from the Coronavirus.
       
       
       
       
       
      Here is a short video that tells why and how "social distancing" works to make it more likely for us to survive Coronavirus.  You need to watch it all the way to the end to get the entire picture.  This is something that has been tried and actually works!
       
       
       
       
      How Soap Kills the Coronavirus 2020-03-23 08:00:00Z 0
      Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandate #4 2020-03-18 08:00:00Z 0
      Alaska COVID-19 Health Mandate #3 2020-03-18 08:00:00Z 0
      Social Distancing: what does it mean? 2020-03-16 08:00:00Z 0

      If You Are at Higher Risk Get Ready for COVID 19 Now

       
      If You Are at Higher Risk
       
      Who is at higher risk?
      Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
      • Older adults
        • 60 or older
      • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
        • Heart disease
        • Diabetes
        • Lung disease
      Get ready for COVID-19 now
       
      Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick
      Group of senior citizens
      If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
      • Stock up on supplies.
      • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
      • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
      • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
      • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
      • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
      Have supplies on hand
      Prescription medicines and groceries
      • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
      • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
      • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
      • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
       
      Take everyday precautions
      washing hands
      Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      Take everyday preventive actions:
      • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
      • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
      • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
      • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
      • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
      • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
       
      If COVID-19 is spreading in your community
      Practice social distancing and stay away from anyone who is sick
      Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
      • Stay home as much as possible.
      • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
      If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
       
      Have a plan for if you get sick
      on the phone with doctor
      • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
      • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
      • Determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.
      Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
      • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
      • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
        • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
        • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
        • New confusion or inability to arouse
        • Bluish lips or face
      *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
       
      What to do if you get sick
      • Stay home and call your doctor.
      • Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
      • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.
      • Know when to get emergency help.
      • Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.
       
      What others can do to support older adults
       
      Community support for older adults
      • Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.
        • Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.
      • Long-term care facilities should be vigilant to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. Information for long-term care facilities can be found here.
      Family and caregiver support
      • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
      • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
      • Stock up on non-perishable food to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
      • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
       
      If You Are at Higher Risk Get Ready for COVID 19 Now 2020-03-16 08:00:00Z 0

      Letter From DG Andre' Layral -- District Conference and More Cancelled Due to Coronavirus
       

      D5010 Rotarians:
       
      On Saturday I met with members of the D5010 Leadership team and several Past District Governors to discuss my recommendation to cancel the 2020 Peace Forum and District Conference.  I laid out the case for cancellation, sharing concerns discussed by conference planning committee. There was unanimous support in the meeting on Saturday for my recommendation to cancel the 2020 conference.  Therefore, I am officially announcing the cancellation of the April 30 to May 3, 2020, Peace Forum and District Conference. 
       
      In an e-mail to D5010 Rotarians last week I announced we were still planning to go forward with the April 30th Peace Forum and May 1-3 District Conference.  At the time there were no positive cases of the virus in Alaska and we had many unanswered questions about the impact cancelling would have, chief among them whether we could back out of our contract with the Westmark hotel without financial ramifications.  After looking into what RI insurance covered and whether supplemental insurance was available, it became obvious that there were too many exclusions in the current policy, and no alternate insurance coverage was available that covered the Coronavirus threat.  Our conference Chair, Cindy Wright, met with the hotel management and learned that we would need to notify the hotel of our intentions no later than March 31st, a date after which there would be financial implications for our Rotary district. This accelerated our efforts to look at what other factors might justify cancelling our conference.  
       
      The Work Health Organization’s announcement of a Global Pandemic, along with emergency declarations announced by the CDC and Governor Dunleavy, made this matter much more urgent. On Friday we were notified by the RI Representative to our conference, David Stovall, that RI had cancelled all travel by RI staff, and therefore he would be unable to attend.  After talking with each of our keynote speakers, each expressed concerns about traveling at this time, primarily because of the Coronavirus threat. We had not yet purchased travel for our speakers, so no financial risk would be incurred  if we made a decision to cancel.
       
      There were many other factors we considered, to numerous to mention, but the health and safety of our conference participants was chief among them.  To our knowledge, there has never been a cancellation of a district conference, and postponement was out of the question due to other bookings at the hotel and higher costs after May 15th.  At this time, the CDC has also declared all gatherings of greater than 50 people be cancelled.
       
      In my conversations with our Keynote speakers, each committed to working with our district to offer a virtual presentation, so we will look at the logistics of this.  We are also looking to the possibility of holding our Peace Forum prior to the Zone 28 conference in Anchorage in November.  We will keep members up to date regarding both these possibilities.
       
      We are at an unfamiliar place.  How ironic that our Rotary theme this year is “Rotary Connects the World” yet people are being asked to socially distance themselves, including “self isolation” to slow the spread of the virus. Of course it saddens me that instead of celebrating our many Rotary accomplishments this year with friends, sharing our Rotary stories, and showcasing what Rotary clubs have accomplished, we are now challenged to keep our members engaged, learning, growing and serving.  Still I have never been more proud to be a Rotarian, nor more committed to completing my work as your District Governor.
       
      With over three months remaining in this Rotary year, we will continue to plan and deliver training for club officers and Rotary education for members, but in innovative ways that minimize face to face delivery.  Similarly, I will be convening a group to develop some innovative approaches clubs can take to serve their communities in Alaska helping the less fortunate and seniors cope with isolation and fear and for Clubs to lead in meaningful ways working with local health authorities and social agencies address local needs during this unprecedented time.
       
      A separate notification will be made soon to Rotarians who registered for the conference, describing how conference registration refunds will be made. 
       
      Today I discussed with Don Poulton, Administrative Chair, my intentions for holding a virtual business meeting on May 2nd to take action as planned on 2020 D5010 Resolutions, the 2019-2020 Financial update, 2020-2021 Budget approval and action on selecting a Council on Legislation representative for our district for 2020-2023. More to follow.  In the meantime, please remember to submit your proposed resolution by the March 20th deadline and nominations for Council on Legislation representative by April 15th.
      Sincerely,
       
      Andre’ Layral
       
      D5010 District Governor
      2019-2020
      Letter From DG Andre' Layral -- District Conference and More Cancelled Due to Coronavirus  2020-03-16 08:00:00Z 0

      Working with Rotary to Eradicate Polio

       
       
      with
       
      Bill Gates
      Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
       
      1. What made you decide to work on polio eradication?
      In 1952, three years before I was born, the U.S. experienced one of the worst polio epidemics in its history. Thousands died and even more were paralyzed. I was born a few months after the first polio vaccine became available. Growing up, I had no idea how lucky I was.
       
      Later in life through the work of our foundation, I began to see firsthand the impact that polio was having on kids. The U.S. had seen its last case of polio in 1979 thanks to polio vaccines, but even 25 years later in 2004, more than 1,000 children in Asia and Africa were paralyzed by polio simply because of where they were born.
       
      Before our foundation joined the fight to end polio in 2007, I had spent months talking to experts and analyzing the history of eradication. While global progress against polio had stalled, I believed that eradication was possible because the world had done it before, with smallpox in 1980.
       
      Rotary played an important role in inspiring the foundation to become involved in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, an incredible global partnership committed to fighting the disease. We knew that Rotarians would be passionate, committed allies in the push for eradication.
       
      2. The number of polio cases increased in 2019. Why are you still optimistic that eradication is possible?
      It’s true that we saw the number of cases go up in 2019, but we need to look at what has happened over the past three decades. In the 1980s, polio paralyzed 1,000 children globally every day. Today, that number has fallen 99.9 percent and the wild poliovirus is confined to just Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of eradication efforts, there are 18 million people walking around who would have otherwise been paralyzed by the virus.
       
      The past 30 years have been marked with incredible achievements. One of my favorite examples is India. The country was once considered the toughest place to eliminate the disease, but in 2011, the country recorded its last case of polio derived from the wild poliovirus.
       
      In 2013, health workers managed to contain a wild poliovirus outbreak during the Syrian civil war. Vaccinators not only had to enter the war zone, waiting for lulls in the fighting to make sure children were protected, but also had to account for the 2 million refugees fleeing to neighboring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Within weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a plan to immunize 2.4 million Syrian children, and the outbreak was over by the following year.
       
      In 2016, the wild poliovirus re-emerged in Nigeria. Health workers and partners redoubled their efforts, and the country has now gone more than three years without a new case, which means the entire WHO African region could be certified free of wild poliovirus in 2020. This achievement was difficult to imagine just a few years ago.
       
      The final cases of polio are proving particularly difficult. But the polio program has overcome enormous challenges to keep driving progress, and we’ve spent the past decade sharpening the tools and strategies we need to finish the job. With the continued commitment of our partners like Rotary, I’m sure we’ll consign polio to history.
       
      3. Why are you extending the Gates Foundation’s 2-to-1 funding match with Rotary?
      The Gates Foundation’s long-standing partnership with Rotary has been crucial in the fight against polio. Through extending our funding match, we can raise $150 million every year — money that is essential to the eradication effort.
       
      But there’s another thing about this funding match, which people don’t often know: The money helps us fight more than polio. At the same time that we’re delivering the polio vaccine to communities, we’re also bringing them bed nets to protect against malaria, improving access to clean drinking water, and helping immunize kids against other vaccine-preventable diseases. We’re making sure that every dollar we raise counts.
       
      4. What message would you like to deliver to Rotarians as we confront the final challenges to eradication?
      Everyone at our foundation is inspired by Rotary and proud to work alongside you.
       
      Rotary was the first organization to push for a polio-free world. And for the past 30 years, so many Rotarians have been part of fundraising, vaccination, and advocacy efforts that have brought us close to the magic number of zero cases.
       
      The final steps to a polio-free world are the hardest — and we’ll need the help of every Rotarian to get there. But I’m confident that we will end polio together.
       
      • Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
       
      • This story originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      Working with Rotary to Eradicate Polio 2020-03-12 08:00:00Z 0

      Pictures of RYLA 2020 in Homer

      As most all of us know, RYLA 2020 was held in Homer.
        Below are some pictures take during some of the various RYLA activities. 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Pictures of RYLA 2020 in Homer 2020-03-11 08:00:00Z 0
      DISTRICT 5010 APP 2020-03-09 08:00:00Z 0

      For the Record:  Business Casual

      A youthful outlook isn’t the only key to rejuvenating Rotary, but it’s a start.
       
      For President-elect Holger Knaack, the opportunities are endless.
       
      Photos by Samuel Zuder
       
      Outside of One Rotary Center, it was an overcast October day. Lake Michigan shimmered a steely gray, and the trees’ red and orange leaves appeared drab.
      But inside the office of Rotary’s president-elect, it was a bright new day, and not just because of the paisley handkerchief sprouting from the breast pocket of Holger Knaack’s blue blazer. Those vivid colors matched the cheerful attitude with which Knaack looks optimistically to the future — only one of the then-67-year-old’s youthful traits.
       
      Over two hours, on two separate occasions, Knaack sat down for a conversation with John Rezek, editor in chief of The Rotarian, and Jenny Llakmani, the magazine’s managing editor. Speaking fluent, German-inflected English, Knaack discussed his atypical rise in Rotary, an ascent propelled by his longtime involvement with the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Those experiences define his aspirations as president. “Growing Rotary, and especially growing with young members, will definitely be one of my goals,” he said. “Because if we lose contact with the younger generation” — he lifted his hands and shrugged — “we are outdated.”
       
      During the conversation, Knaack discussed his January 2018 speech at the International Assembly, where he had quoted Paul Harris: “If Rotary is to realize its proper destiny, it must be evolutionary at times, revolutionary on occasions.” He then offered his own take on that thought: “To be prepared for the future, Rotary must continue to be revolutionary and must believe in the power of youth.”
       
      Knaack introduced a few aphorisms of his own — including “There’s no wrong age to become a Rotarian” — and spoke about the economic necessity of having a presidential tie. (Knaack, who rarely wears a tie, revealed that he keeps one of Mark Daniel Maloney’s blue presidential ties tucked into a desk drawer to have on hand if needed.) He also introduced his presidential theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities. The phrase is paired visually with the silhouette of three open doors, one blue, another gold, and the third in bright Rotaract pink. He chose the theme for its aptness, explains Knaack, and because “it’s easy to translate in every language.” (In Knaack’s native German, it’s Rotary eröffnet Möglichkeiten.)
       
      During the first interview, Knaack’s wife, Susanne, sat in and provided clarifications. When Rezek asked Knaack about his reputation for being “unflappable,” the president-elect responded with a flapped expression. After briefly consulting her phone, Susanne provided a translation: unerschütterlich. With that settled, Knaack, ever imperturbable, continued the conversation.

      THE ROTARIAN: You’re the first president-elect from Germany in Rotary’s history. Tell us about the nature of Rotary in Germany. 
      KNAACK: Rotary is different all over the world. We all share the same core values, but with different emphases. In Germany, it’s really about friendship or fellowship — and it’s about integrity and ethics. That’s how German Rotarians look for members. And then the service we do grows out of friendship. I think one of the major points is that German Rotary clubs select their members carefully, and we have a very good retention rate. We don’t even think about retention.
       
      TR: How did you get involved in Rotary?
      KNAACK: For me, it started with an organization called Round Table, which has hundreds of clubs in Europe. Surprisingly, it was founded by Rotarians in England in 1927 who were tired of always hanging out with old men. So they created a new organization, Round Table, but stipulated that you had to leave when you turned 40. I joined at 30 and left when I was 39. They had this wonderful motto: Adopt, Adapt, Improve. I was interested in service; I was also interested in networking. Many of my friends from this organization joined Rotary, and again, the reason was the opportunity for networking, especially because of Rotary’s classification system. You need different people to make an organization more interesting, to have discussions go in unexpected directions.
      I was asked to join the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln. It’s a crazy name. When Ron Burton was a director, he once introduced me as “Holger Knaack from the Rotary Club of [pauses] somewhere in Germany.” A new Rotary club in my hometown, Ratzeburg, was looking for members, but I knew many of the people in that club already, so I decided to join the old club. It gave me the opportunity to meet totally different people.
       
      TR: What was your pathway to the presidency of Rotary?
      KNAACK: I’ve been asked to list all the district leadership positions I held before I became a district governor. None. Zero. I didn’t have any before I became district governor, and I didn’t have any appointments in the district leadership. I was just known for my engagement in Youth Exchange, and because of that, people knew about me and my passion for Rotary. It was the same thing when I became a director: I had never, ever had any appointments at the zone level. When I came here to Evanston for my director-elect training, that was the first time I entered this building.
       
      TR: What is it about Youth Exchange that makes it such a great program?
      KNAACK: Youth Exchange was my path into Rotary. Susanne and I hosted Rotary Youth Exchange students and became involved in organizing Youth Exchange camps, where Rotary clubs and districts host students from all over the world. And then I learned how this enriched our lives. We don’t have children ourselves, so this program is really great for us. I think it keeps us young.
       
      TR: We’ve heard that you are unflappable. Nothing upsets you. How can that possibly be true?
      KNAACK: I can sometimes be embarrassed because of small things, as my wife knows. But when confronted by serious things, when we have to make serious decisions, then I become more calm. Plus, I’m always counting on other people. I know I can’t do anything alone. I have the greatest respect for people who are doing the work — not just doing the work, but doing it with passion. We have to show our respect for all people like that. That’s what I learned very early.
       
      Right: Holger Knaack, with his wife Susanne, near their home in Ratzeburg, Germany, believes in trusting young people to steer Rotary into the future.
       
      TR: What areas are you going to concentrate on during your year? And what do you hope to accomplish?
      KNAACK: I have no crazy new ideas [laughing]. We promised to eradicate polio, and I mean to do everything we can to keep that promise. If we succeed, it will help enhance how Rotary is seen in the world. No. 2, of course, is growing Rotary, and that’s not just about growing our membership. It’s about growing Rotary at all levels. It’s about making our organization stronger. It’s about retention and growing through new Rotary club models. Rotary is indeed one of the slowest-changing organizations in the world. What we do takes so much time. We have to be much faster.
       
      TR: What about Rotary doesn’t have to change?
      KNAACK: Our core values have always been the basis for what we do. Friendship, diversity, integrity, leadership, service — they will never be outdated. The way we express and live those values, that will change. Our tradition of meeting for a meal might have worked for 100 years. But it doesn’t work anymore, because lunch is no longer a central thing in your life. We have to look for models that young people are interested in. Let them decide what kind of Rotary club they would like to join to share our core values. Rotary is a place for everybody: for young and old, for old club models and for new club models. There’s no need for very strict rules. Let’s enjoy what fits best.
       
      TR: Are you worried that the average age for Rotarians keeps going up?
      KNAACK: I’m so happy that our older Rotarians remain Rotarians and that older people still join Rotary clubs. They’re a great value for the clubs and our organization. But I want to encourage Rotary clubs to think about their future. Clubs should have a strategic meeting twice a year. If they really think about their future, it’s important that there is no big gap between age groups. If they’re able to attract members in every age group, in every decade, then there is not a big gap. It’s important for Rotary clubs to stay on track and yet still be interesting for young professionals. It’s always dangerous if a Rotary club says, “OK, we have the perfect number of members. We have 50 or 60 or 70 or whatever; we don’t want any more members right now.” Then the gap can grow very, very fast. One of my sayings is, “There’s no wrong age to become a Rotarian.” If someone is 18 and becoming a member, that’s great. And if someone is 80, that’s great too. So there is no wrong age to become a Rotarian — and there’s no perfect size for a Rotary club.
       
       
       
      For the Record:  Business Casual 2020-03-04 09:00:00Z 0

      Help Rotary Change the Narrative - New Details on Life Below Water Symposium in Bermuda

       
       
       
       
       
      I wrote you last month to let you know about two exciting Rotary Symposiums our Zones are hosting in 2020-21.  The first, Life On Land, will be held in Anchorage, Alaska this November.
       
      The second symposium takes place January 14-16, 2021. We are excited to visit Hamilton, Bermuda for this event, which will focus on the Unites Nations Sustainable Development Goal, Life Under Water. Past Rotary International President Barry Rassin has agreed to be our keynote speaker in Bermuda. The Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) and a United Nations Environmental committee representative will support both symposiums. All Rotarians, community partners and NGOs are invited to participate in this symposium with a focus on changing the narrative.
       
      Here are the expert speakers who have committed to joining us in Bermuda:
       
       
       
       
      Barry Rassin, Past Rotary International President
       
       
       
      Richard Randolph, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Heart to Heart International
       
       
       
      Dr. Chris King, Former Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy
       
       
       
       
       
      Mark Eakin, Coordinator of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch program
       
       
       
      Ludovic Grosjean, Independent Collaborator working to preserve the Environment with the ultimate goal of Saving our Oceans
       
       
       
       
      Help Rotary Change the Narrative - New Details on Life Below Water Symposium in Bermuda 2020-03-04 09:00:00Z 0

      Health Education and Wellness Rotarian Action Group Seeking Your Input

      RECOMMENDATION/QUESTIONS

      As a Rotarian Action Group, HEWRAG has been and can continue to be an important resource for Rotarians in the global quest to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem.  With that statement as the premise, we need to acknowledge that HEWRAG has reached a plateau and needs to redefine its mission in CCP to be successful in the future.

       To that end, we are asking you to respond to three questions:   

      1.    We believe that now is the time for HEWRAG to reassess its approach to CCP.  How do you believe HEWRAG can best help Rotarians to work within the WHO plan to address cervical cancer as a public health problem?  

      2.     We believe that we need a much larger and more diverse team to support Rotarians when they ask for HEWRAG's assistance with CCP projects.  Are you willing to serve as a member of that team?  If so, how would you be able to help?  

      3.     We have found that we need to fund supplies and travel in order to best serve Rotarians, and while we have self-funded in the past, our needs have grown beyond our abilities.  What suggestions do you have about how we can fund HEWRAG's CCP activities?

      GOING FORWARD

      We hope that you will reply to this message by or before Tuesday, March 31, 2020 after which we will compile a summary of the responses and include them into our plan going forward before the Rotary International Convention in early June. 

      If you have questions that could help inform your comments, you’re encouraged to write to PDG/HEWRAG Director Karl Diekman.  Please send your completed responses to him at kddiekman@aol.com.

      Kindest regards,

      Karl Diekman

      Rotary Club of Woodland

       District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair 2013-16 and 2017-20

       

      Health Education and Wellness Rotarian Action Group Seeking Your Input 2020-03-02 09:00:00Z 0

      Viewpoint:  Bound Together

      While you’re holding a book,
      the book is holding you

       

      by

       

      Illustration by Richard Mia 

      The image looks like a million other family travel photos: two adults and a 10-year-old at a historic destination — in this case England’s Greenwich Observatory, the place where you could say time starts. But on close examination, the picture has a fourth element: a just-published Harry Potter novel, as big as the 10-year-old is small. Holding his place, the kid’s finger has disappeared into the book, and from the expression on his face, so has he.

      We may have been in Greenwich, but my son was at Hogwarts.

      A long time before, when I was about his size, I had torn through Treasure Island, dealing with words I didn’t recognize by either skipping over them or trying to sound them out, producing outlandish internal pronunciations that fortunately nobody ever heard. A bit later, I flung myself at James Michener’s Potter-weight Hawaii, with passages I still remember more sharply than things I read last week.

      But in the years since Greenwich Mean Time became the standard measure of the moment, technology has surged past the binding together of printed pages. Information now moves with the form and speed of electronic impulses. Yet books persist, much like that kid refusing to be budged from the world his imagination has conjured. “Every time there is a new innovation, they predict the death of the book,” Michael Herrmann, the owner of Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, said recently. “But the book is a perfect technology. Like the shark, it hasn’t changed and continues to thrive.”

      The newest challenges to the printed book range from 500 channels of television and the boundless resources of the internet to the small plastic devices, the weight and thickness of a slice of pizza, that can display multiple volumes. The threats at one time appeared lethal: In the first decade of this century, the number of U.S. bookstores, both chain and independent, dropped sharply. All over America, bookstores were closing down, their spaces turning into nail salons and hot yoga studios.

      But over the past decade, the number of independent bookstores across the country has rebounded — shooting up from 1,651 to 2,524, with sales rising steadily. This resurgence is not about “information,” or what the tech folks call “content.” It’s about actual books, ink on paper, that not only send words out but pull people in. Bookstores are drawing people back to the comfort of print.

      In 2012, best-selling author Ann Patchett wrote in the Atlantic: “You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead — to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.” Her story is that when the last independent new-book store in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, closed, Patchett — explaining that she didn’t want to live in a town without a bookstore — joined with a couple of friends to open her own. With the help of some of her writer friends doing readings, Parnassus Books has been a dramatic success. “People still want books,” she declared. “I’ve got the numbers to prove it.”

      In the summer of 2019, Patchett got still more proof of that: Amazon announced that it would open up its own bookstore across the street from Parnassus.

       

      Viewpoint:  Bound Together 2020-02-25 09:00:00Z 0

      Club Innovation: Social Network

      Rotary Club of Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
       
      Chartered: 2017
       
      Original membership: 61
       
      Membership: 145
       
      Boom town: Franklin, Tennessee, was ranked the eighth-fastest growing community in the United States in 2017, the same year the Nashville suburb of 80,000 people added its fourth Rotary club. A network of old acquaintances — golf buddies and families who knew one another through their children’s sporting events — formed the nucleus of the Rotary Club of Downtown Franklin, devoted to cultivating friendship in a convivial, service-minded, and welcoming atmosphere.
       
      Club innovation: “Happy time” sessions, which run 30 minutes before evening meetings begin, allow for networking and encourage mingling. Appetizers and drinks mixed by club members who have been certified as servers offer a low-cost alternative to a full meal and keep dues to $400 a year.
      Club members Kyle Lo Porto (from left), C.J. Monte, Kathy Reynolds, and Lorrie Graves participate in a Habitat for Humanity project.
       
      For decades, the Rotary clubs of Franklin, Franklin At Breakfast, and Cool Springs have been a vital part of the fabric of the city. But many people who wanted to serve their community couldn’t make those clubs’ noon or morning meetings. So Lawrence Sullivan, a longtime noon club member, approached Mike Alday, who had dropped out of that club. “He knew there were people like me,” says Alday. “With my business, I couldn’t commit to the noon club.” The group of people Sullivan contacted already had some connection to one another. “We weren’t good friends, necessarily, but we all knew each other,” says Alday, who became charter president of the club. “We thought we’d have 40 people and move around to bars and restaurants in town.” But membership quickly more than doubled, growing to the point that tavern-hopping wouldn’t be feasible. Although the group now meets at the Williamson County Enrichment Center, a parks department facility, an open bar and hors d’oeuvres remain an integral part of the program.
       
      Tapping existing social networks led to a club with many couples joining together. Candida Cleve-Bannister, a longtime Rotary spouse whose work obligations prevented her from joining one of the daytime clubs, joined with her husband, Jerome Bannister. For Jerome, a past governor of District 6760 who had to leave the breakfast club because of a job change, the forming of the new club was fortuitous.
      Kathy Reynolds gets to work.
       
      “We try to keep our dues low, bearing in mind that a lot of our members are couples,” says Cleve-Bannister. “We’re a fun club. There’s no problem with somebody getting up and getting food or drink. We’re casual.” And because some committee work is undertaken during meetings, she notes, “we don’t burden our members with extra time outside of the meeting.”
       
      The club helps out at events including a chili cook-off held in conjunction with Pumpkinfest, a local institution with a nearly four-decade history. The club’s Jockeys & Juleps party netted about $100,000 in its first two years, with part of the proceeds going toward My Friend’s House, a transitional home for at-risk teenage boys. The Rotarians play a role in the boys’ lives through activities including bowling and “chef’s nights,” at which they all share a meal they have prepared together.
       
      A key ingredient in the club’s high level of project participation has been cooperation with other clubs. “All the clubs in town are supportive of each other,” says Alday. “At the end of the day, we’re all part of Rotary. We just meet at different times.”
       
      He adds: “When we do The Four-Way Test, we actually add a fifth element: We yell, ‘Cheers!’ The social aspect can’t be overlooked.”
      — BRAD WEBBER
      • Are you looking for more ideas on how your club can reinvent itself? Go to rotary.org/flexibility.
      • To share your ideas with us, email club.innovations@rotary.org.
      • This story originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
      Club Innovation: Social Network 2020-02-19 09:00:00Z 0



      How Do I Access and Change My Profile Information?

       

      This feature allows you to edit and update the information within your profile. You can change your email address, phone number, password, login name, and more. Your profile contains details such as your address and contact information, as well as personal information you choose to share with your fellow club members. 


      1. To access your profile for editing, you must go to your club homepage and login. Then, click on Member Area on the top right. 

      2. Along the top of the screen, you will see several blue tabs. Click on the My ClubRunner tab. 

      3. Next, click on the My Profile link on the grey menu bar below My ClubRunner.  

      4. You are now on the Member Profile screen. This screen contains your personal information, which may be shared with fellow members of your club. To add or update the information that appears click on the Edit button just above your personal information. 

       

      5. You can now enter your personal data into the fields listed or edit existing information.  

      Note: Fields marked in red are mandatory. If you try to click Save when a mandatory field is blank, you will receive an error message. 

       

      6. When you are finished editing your profile, click Save. There are Save buttons at the top and bottom of the Member Profile screen. Click Cancel if you do not wish to save your changes. 

      Tab Information

      There are 6 tabs on the member profile. Each one contains different information.

      Personal Tab

      On this page it displays personal information about the member. This is useful to see if the profile is up to date. If you want to edit any of this information click on the Edit button and once done click Save.

      • Profile Picture: This displays a picture of you. To learn how to add/update your picture, please click read the article titled How do I Change my Profile Photo?.
      • Member Details: This area displays the member's Title (Eg. Mr, Mrs, Dr, Rev), First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Nickname (Eg. Dave, Mike, Bill), Suffix (Eg, Jr, Sr), Preferred Address, Preferred Phone, E-mail, Alternate E-mail, Gender, Date of Birth, Anniversary, Spouse/Partner First Name, Last Name, Nick Name, and Date of Birth.
      • Home: This area displays the member's Home address and Phone numbers.
      • Work: This area displays the member's Work Address, Position/Title, Phone number, Fax, and Website URL.
      • Custom Fields: This displays the fields that were created by the Club. These fields are used to gather additional information about the member. The data could be a date, flag, or field/text. For more information read the Custom Fields article

      Rotary/Organization Tab

      On this page it displays information about the Rotary and attendance. 

      Note: Some details on this tab are not able to be modified without additional access. Contact your Club/Organization for assistance with updating these profile details

      • Membership Details: This area shows the Club name, Rotary Member Number, Membership, Office, Sponsor, Membership Type, Classification, Date Joined Club, and Date Joined Rotary/Admission.
      • Member Designations: This displays the member's designations. For more information read the Member Designations article.
      • Club Attendance: Shows their current year to date attendance percentage, last year's year to date attendance percentage, and year to date attendance report.

      Biography Tab

      This page displays the biography of the member. If you want to edit any of this information click on the Edit button and once done click Save.

      • Public: This area can be view by anyone in the Club and District.
      • Vocational Description: This is for anyone to see in the future release of a Rotarian business directory.
      • Private Biography: This can only be viewed by your Club members, it cannot be view by the District or the public. 

      Commitments Tab

      This page displays the Club Events, Volunteer Tasks, Meeting Responsibilities, New Member Program, and Current Committees you are in.

      • Club Events: This displays the events you registered for. For more information read the EventPlanner and MyEventRunner articles.
      • Volunteer Tasks: This displays the volunteer list the member signed up for. For more information read the Volunteer article.
      • Note: This will display "Loading Volunteer Data..." for a few seconds as it loads.
      • Meeting Responsibilities: This displays the meeting responsibilities you have. For more information read the Meeting Responsibilities article.
      • New Member Program: This displays the activity you have in the New Member Program. For more information read the New Member Program article.
      • Current Committees: This displays the committees the member is in. For more information read the Committees article.

      Settings Tab

      On this page it displays the Access Level, Login Information, Member Roles, and Custom Email Signature. If you want to edit any of this information, click on the Edit button, and once done click Save.

      • Club Access Level: This is the level of access the member has to the Club. For more information read the Access Levels article.
      • Login Name: This is your login name, and you can modify it as you see fit. It must be unique value across all of ClubRunner.
      • Password: This allows you to update your own password. Note that you do need to know your current password. If you no longer know your password, this article should help: I cannot login to ClubRunner.
      • Member Roles: This displays if the member has read only access to MyEventRunner. 
      • Custom Email Signature: This displays the member's email signature.

      Privacy Tab

      This page shows the member's Communication Preferences, Search Privacy and Club's RI Integration Privacy (If you are a Rotary Club). If you want to edit any of this information click on the Edit button and once done click Save

      • Communication Preferences: The member can choose not to receive certain emails. For more information, read the Email Privacy article.
      • Search Privacy: These options allow you to control what information is available to members who are not in your club when they use features such as the District’s Member Search and view your Club in the ClubRunner Mobile app.

      Note: The ClubRunner mobile app stores cached data for offline use and when internet connectivity is limited. This means, changes made to your privacy settings may take time to update and display in the mobile app. The mobile application caches member data for 14 days.

      Note: Any individuals who are listed in their Club's Executives & Directors list will have their Name and Position listed in the Mobile app. All other privacy options will be respected.

      • RI Integration Privacy: Only Rotary Clubs have this option. This displays the Rotary International Integrations settings for the members. For more information, read the RI Integration Guide.