Health workers during a mass vaccination event for influzena at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The flu vaccine event served as a practice run for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to health officials. Such distribution requires coordination between multiple state and local agencies. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Health workers during a mass vaccination event for influzena at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The flu vaccine event served as a practice run for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to health officials. Such distribution requires coordination between multiple state and local agencies. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

US holds first oil lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic refuge

Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, was the sale’s main bidder.

In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham / USCG 
Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star navigates heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. The icebreaker is supporting an increasingly prioritized mission in the region, according the the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard icebreaker sets U.S. record for northernmost winter approach

The mission is as much to reaffirm presence as to train a new generation of coldwater sailors.

Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham / USCG 
Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star navigates heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. The icebreaker is supporting an increasingly prioritized mission in the region, according the the Coast Guard.
Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Judge allows oil, gas lease sales in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Judge refuses to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
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, Jan. 4

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 crane sits in the city-owned Aurora Harbor on Nov. 6, there for a project to repair the docks. The construction industry was one of the few in Southeast Alaska which wasn't dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to state economists. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
A crane sits in the city-owned Aurora Harbor on Nov. 6, there for a project to repair the docks. The construction industry was one of the few in Southeast Alaska which wasn't dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to state economists. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Peter Segall/ Juneau Empire File 
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to local leaders at the Alaska Municipal League’s legislative conference in this February 2020 photo.
Peter Segall/ Juneau Empire File 
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to local leaders at the Alaska Municipal League’s legislative conference in this February 2020 photo.
Sarah Palmer holds up a swab before administering a COVID-19 test. The City and Borough of Juneau is offering free, asymptomatic testing. The drive-thru testing is available daily through Jan. 10 with the exception of New Year's Day. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Sarah Palmer holds up a swab before administering a COVID-19 test. The City and Borough of Juneau is offering free, asymptomatic testing. The drive-thru testing is available daily through Jan. 10 with the exception of New Year's Day. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
In this Dec. 24 photo, Arsenio “Pastor” Credo receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from nurse Courtney Taber at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Ethel Lund Medical Center. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
In this Dec. 24 photo, Arsenio “Pastor” Credo receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from nurse Courtney Taber at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Ethel Lund Medical Center. (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)
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)
Composite Image / Juneau Empire staff and Unsplash
This composite image shows a Tongass National Forest sign that stands near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer at an event held following the killing of George Floyd, a man voting in the November general election, the effects of early December storms in Juneau and a health care worker at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.

5 stories that shaped Juneau’s 2020

The year was defined by more than COVID-19.

Composite Image / Juneau Empire staff and Unsplash
This composite image shows a Tongass National Forest sign that stands near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer at an event held following the killing of George Floyd, a man voting in the November general election, the effects of early December storms in Juneau and a health care worker at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.
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)
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)
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)
(Courtesy photo / Alaska Department of Corrections)
(Courtesy photo / Alaska Department of Corrections)
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka pose with the family they rescued about an hour earlier from Yamani Islets, Dec. 25, 2020. The aircrew hoisted all four family members to safety after their boat capsized. (Courtesy Photo / Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)

Coast Guard rescues 4 near Sitka on Christmas

“We want to stress the importance of letting people know where you are going on the water…”

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka pose with the family they rescued about an hour earlier from Yamani Islets, Dec. 25, 2020. The aircrew hoisted all four family members to safety after their boat capsized. (Courtesy Photo / Coast Guard Air Station Sitka)
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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)
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) transits the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle on Dec. 4, 2020. The crew is deploying on rare wintertime mission to the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)

Coast Guard needs more focus on Alaska bases and ships, Sullivan says

Recent Russian exercises and America’s sole functional icebreaker are all cause for concern, the senator opined.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) transits the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle on Dec. 4, 2020. The crew is deploying on rare wintertime mission to the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)