Claire Stremple, KTOO - Juneau

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A blue cruise ship in front of a large mountain

How Alaska cruise towns are handling COVID-19 arriving on ships

The cruise tourism restart after a nearly two-year hiatus is bringing hope for a revived economy, but also concerns about the safety of the tourists and Alaskans alike.
A blue cruise ship in front of a large mountain

It happened: Someone on a large cruise ship in Juneau has tested positive for COVID-19

A city official says the individual did not circulate in Juneau as a tourist, but will leave the capital city by air ambulance. The city is working with the cruise lines and the state’s health department to respond.

Juneau asks residents to mask up indoors again

Masks are required in City and Borough of Juneau facilities effective immediately due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases. In the rest of the city, masks are optional, but the city is encouraging them after it reported 150 cases over the weekend.
Two monitors with a webcam on a cart

Alaska patients have reduced access to out-of-state telehealth appointments as emergency declarations end

Pandemic-era licensing waivers went away with the governor’s emergency order. It left some Seattle hospitals scrambling to reschedule Alaska patients.
Houses up next to a hillside

At home in an avalanche path: Why Juneauites buy and keep homes in a hazard zone

Dozens of sought-after Juneau homes are built in an avalanche path. And decades of studies have pointed to the very real possibility of a big, destructive slide in the neighborhood’s future.
a woman sits at a desk behind a reception counter

A pandemic rule change could make it easier to get treatment for opioid addiction in Alaska

Alaska doctors have temporary permission from the state to use telehealth to prescribe a controlled, but life-saving drug used to treat opioid addiction. State officials say they’d like to make the change permanent.
A woman in a plaid shirt poses for a photograph in the woods.

Airport project in Gustavus continues despite residents’ concerns about contamination

While the state's additional testing showed high levels of PFAS chemicals, plans for the project have hardly changed to the frustration of some residents of a small Southeast community.

‘This is creating havoc’: Juneau regional hospital’s mental health surge continues

Even as more than 70% of Juneau’s eligible population has had its first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, hospital officials say the patient load hasn’t decreased: It’s just leveled off.
A frog partially submerged in water

Deadly fungus threatens Alaska amphibians

It’s not always lethal, but the fungus has decimated frog populations around the world and is thought to be responsible for up to 90 extinctions. Researchers aren’t sure how it got to Alaska, but it has been observed here since the year 2000.
A sign that says Alaska Native Medical Center

50 years of data show cancer still leading cause of death for Alaska Natives

A new study from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium shows that cancer rates among Alaska Native people have gone up over the last half-century. Researchers say the data points to opportunities for prevention.
a vial of covid-19 vaccine

Federal health officials recommend pregnant women get COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women and children are considered vulnerable populations and were not included in vaccine trials. But early data from the CDC’s Vaccine Pregnancy Registry shows that there is no evidence that the vaccine cause any problems for the mother or the baby.
The bow of a white cruise ship

Alaska joins Florida in federal lawsuit over pandemic cruise ship rules

The lawsuit says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is overstepping its authority with the Conditional Sailing Order, which imposes strict COVID-19 safety precautions on the cruise industry.
A map with a red line around it

New construction at Gustavus airport digs up old concerns about toxic chemicals

Contractors plan to break ground on a multimillion dollar airport project in Gustavus this month. But newly discovered toxic chemicals at the site make the state-run project more complicated, and some residents don’t think the environmental oversight goes far enough to keep them safe.
Cruise shipts docked one behind the other

Alaska House passes resolution over Canada’s cruise ship ban

The Alaska House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday that urges Congress to allow an exemption for cruise ships to bypass Canada and sail in Alaska this year.
A crowd of older people gather next to a giant cruise ship

Alaska’s billion-dollar cruise season in the balance as CDC resists industry pressure to lift restrictions

The federal government held its ground on Wednesday against calls to roll back restrictions on cruise ship sailings. In Alaska, the rapidly approaching cruise season — and its billion-dollar industry — is still at stake.
A blue boat with white cabins on top is moored on a dock with mountains in the background.

Juneau cruise line’s vaccine requirement could bring slice of normalcy for coastal communities

After the proliferation of COVID-19 vaccines in Alaska, the owners of UnCruise will require them of all passengers, which means they'll be able to safely disembark at coastal communities along the route.
A baby swaddled in a blanket

More babies are being born too early in Alaska, health department says

In 2019, almost 1 in 10 births in Alaska was preterm. That’s as high as it’s been in the last two decades. Preterm birth and low birth weight can cause infant death or developmental problems.
Stacks of money

Federal COVID-19 relief dollars are coming to Alaska’s economy. Here’s where the money’s going.

Aside from $1,400 direct payments, unemployed Alaskans, and Alaskans with children could also get a big cash boost. That could bring 12,000 Alaskan children out of poverty.
A vial of vaccine on a table

‘It’s a risk either way’: Pregnant women in Alaska grapple with vaccine decisions

Pregnant women face a dilemma: they are considered at high risk for serious medical complications from COVID-19, but the vaccines haven’t been tested on pregnant women because they’re a vulnerable population.
A woman in a purple jacket cuuddles a cat

Lost kitten tours Juneau before good Samaritans fly her home to Haines

The owners of the cat never discovered who was the Good Samaritan who found Spot.