A sign along Montana Creek Road encourages Juneau residents to wear face masks in public settings on Dec. 29. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Local COVID risk level could move from high to moderate as soon as next week

Several key indicators are trending in the right direction

A sign along Montana Creek Road encourages Juneau residents to wear face masks in public settings on Dec. 29. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Jennifer Johnston, R-Anchorage, gets her temperature taken as she enters the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, May 18, 2020. New policies will require all staff and legislators to wear masks in chambers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Legislative Council sets mask policy for upcoming session

Only one representative out of twelve legislators voted against the mask policy.

Rep. Jennifer Johnston, R-Anchorage, gets her temperature taken as she enters the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, May 18, 2020. New policies will require all staff and legislators to wear masks in chambers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Dec. 29

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Polar Bear Dip participants make a mad dash Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, into the cold water at Auke Bay Recreation Area. This year’s dip is cancelled due to pandemic concerns. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

No polar bears in Juneau: Dip canceled for pandemic

The 30-year-tradition is taking a pause for safety.

Polar Bear Dip participants make a mad dash Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, into the cold water at Auke Bay Recreation Area. This year’s dip is cancelled due to pandemic concerns. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Arsenio “Pastor” Credo receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from nurse Courtney Taber at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Ethel Lund Medical Center on Dec. 24, 2020. He’s one of the first non-healthcare professionals to be vaccinated. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Arsenio “Pastor” Credo receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from nurse Courtney Taber at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Ethel Lund Medical Center on Dec. 24, 2020. He’s one of the first non-healthcare professionals to be vaccinated. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Monday, Dec. 28

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
A bird flies by on the sort of gray day typical of December 2020 in Juneau. While there was persistent precipitation this year, Juneau is poised to fall several inches short of the record. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
A bird flies by on the sort of gray day typical of December 2020 in Juneau. While there was persistent precipitation this year, Juneau is poised to fall several inches short of the record. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Courtesy photo / Alaska State Troopers
Alaska State Troopers shop for Juneau families at Fred Meyer on Dec. 21 as part of the Alaska Police Officer Association’s annual “Shop with a Cop” event.

Law enforcement officials spread holiday cheer

Distancing didn’t dampen donations or detract from delight.

Courtesy photo / Alaska State Troopers
Alaska State Troopers shop for Juneau families at Fred Meyer on Dec. 21 as part of the Alaska Police Officer Association’s annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018.  A response boat similar to the one in the photo was used to rescue two hunters on Admiralty Island on Thursday. (Lt. Brian Dykens / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard rescues 2 near Juneau on Christmas Eve

“Fortunately the hunters were prepared for the weather and low visibility.”

A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018.  A response boat similar to the one in the photo was used to rescue two hunters on Admiralty Island on Thursday. (Lt. Brian Dykens / U.S. Coast Guard)
Bruce Van Dusen, executive director of Polaris House, right, and staff member Levi LeCount give a tour of Polaris House on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and a wreck that left them without a truck, work continues at Polaris House this holiday season.  (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Despite setbacks, work continues at Polaris House this Christmas.

A traffic accident and the pandemic prompt operational changes.

Bruce Van Dusen, executive director of Polaris House, right, and staff member Levi LeCount give a tour of Polaris House on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and a wreck that left them without a truck, work continues at Polaris House this holiday season.  (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Photos by Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Members of the Juneau Education Support Staff union pose for a photo in front of meals being prepared for kids in Juneau as Catherine Pusich, second from right, hands a check from the union to Adrianne Schwartz to clear all money owed for school meals at Thunder Mountain High School on Dec. 21.

Educational support union pays off all school district meal balances

The union donated more than $7,000 to clear the ledgers.

Photos by Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Members of the Juneau Education Support Staff union pose for a photo in front of meals being prepared for kids in Juneau as Catherine Pusich, second from right, hands a check from the union to Adrianne Schwartz to clear all money owed for school meals at Thunder Mountain High School on Dec. 21.
Santa Claus waves to Juneau residents who gathered—at a distance—to watch a holiday parade on Dec. 19. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Santa Claus waves to Juneau residents who gathered—at a distance—to watch a holiday parade on Dec. 19. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
The house crowned The Best of Juneau in the Elks Lodge's Lights Up Juneau 2020 contest was awarded cash and prizes, including a premium tram pass for the upcoming season. The house is located at 937 W. 11th St., near the Northern Light United Church downtown. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Lights Up Juneau 2020 delivers holiday cheer

Elks look to the past to end 2020 on a brighter note.

The house crowned The Best of Juneau in the Elks Lodge's Lights Up Juneau 2020 contest was awarded cash and prizes, including a premium tram pass for the upcoming season. The house is located at 937 W. 11th St., near the Northern Light United Church downtown. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
A bald eagle, seen in this photo, is in Sitka after suffering a gunshot wound. Anyone with information about the shooting, which likely took place between Mendenhall Loop and Montana Creek Road on Monday or Tuesday, are encouraged to contact the Juneau Raptor Center by email at info@juneauraptorcenter.org. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)

Eagle shot off Back Loop Road

An investigation is underway, and the eagle is being treated in Sitka.

A bald eagle, seen in this photo, is in Sitka after suffering a gunshot wound. Anyone with information about the shooting, which likely took place between Mendenhall Loop and Montana Creek Road on Monday or Tuesday, are encouraged to contact the Juneau Raptor Center by email at info@juneauraptorcenter.org. (Courtesy Photo / Juneau Raptor Center)
Curtis Jackson, second from right, poses on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, with SVT Heath & Wellness Center health care workers in Jakolof Bay, Alaska, after making a trip across Kachemak Bay from Homer to deliver the medical team and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. From left to right are nurse Candice Kreger, family nurse practitioner Kourtney Holder, Jackson, and family nurse practitioner Julie Drude. The health care workers then went by road to Seldovia. (Photo by Janel Harris courtesy of Mako's Water Taxi)

‘Capt. Balto’ drives boat in rough seas to deliver vaccine, medical workers

In the spirit of the 1925 Nome Serum Run, Capt. Curtis Jackson helps deliver medical team, vaccine to remote Alaska village.

Curtis Jackson, second from right, poses on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, with SVT Heath & Wellness Center health care workers in Jakolof Bay, Alaska, after making a trip across Kachemak Bay from Homer to deliver the medical team and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. From left to right are nurse Candice Kreger, family nurse practitioner Kourtney Holder, Jackson, and family nurse practitioner Julie Drude. The health care workers then went by road to Seldovia. (Photo by Janel Harris courtesy of Mako's Water Taxi)
Emergency worker Melanie Chavez takes a sample from a man at Juneau International Airport in October. Airport-based testing is expected to transition to a vendor being secured by the state in late January. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Local COVID-19 numbers stable

Juneau’s COVID-19 case level remains stable heading into the Christmas and New Year holidays. On Tuesday, the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Operations Center… Continue reading

Emergency worker Melanie Chavez takes a sample from a man at Juneau International Airport in October. Airport-based testing is expected to transition to a vendor being secured by the state in late January. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Airlines announced recently that it would expand its orders of the recently ungrounded 737 MAX aircraft, shown here, for delivery over the next several years. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines announces aircraft acquisition agreement

Company set to add dozens of 737 MAX jets beginning in 2021

Alaska Airlines announced recently that it would expand its orders of the recently ungrounded 737 MAX aircraft, shown here, for delivery over the next several years. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Airlines)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Dec. 22

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)