There are understandable concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with each day bringing new developments. Ahtna has been closely monitoring the pandemic over the last few weeks and proactively responding to the impacts to our organization and those we care deeply about. We have one simple objective that guides us: keeping our employees, shareholders and communities safe. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you an update on our response to the coronavirus.
To address the rapidly evolving situation, Ahtna’s Crisis Management Team has been called into action and is meeting regularly to ensure that we are evaluating our policies, communicating quickly and adjusting our actions based on current developments and guidance from federal and state officials and health agencies.
Nothing is more important than your health and safety and the need to protect those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. We are taking important precautionary measures at our Ahtna offices to protect everyone’s health and safety. We continue to encourage and support staff members staying home if they are not feeling well and ask the same of visitors to our offices. Currently, we are limiting visitors to our Ahtna offices to essential needs only. If you need assistance, please call our Corporate Glennallen Headquarters office at (907) 822-3476 or our Corporate Anchorage office at (907) 868-8250 for guidance. Most requests can be handled over the phone and our shareholder portal (MyAhtna.com) allows shareholders to easily update their own contact information and view and print shares and financial information.
Ahtna has implemented a non-critical business travel restriction and have established quarantine procedures for employees after travel to high-risk areas. We are providing resources to help employees modify how they work and Ahtna leadership throughout the organization are considering which of their staff can perform their work remotely as the risk of exposure to the virus increases in areas. We are maintaining communication and collaboration while reducing large group meetings by utilizing the benefits of web conferencing to the maximum extent possible.
Sanitation has been increased in our Ahtna offices and prevention guidance announcements are posted in high-visibility areas.
We are sharing weekly bulletins with Ahtna staff reminding them to practice healthy habits and hosted a presentation by an infection control nurse to ensure we are taking necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of our people.
Using regular and proper handwashing techniques continues to be one of the best sources of prevention. This includes soaping up and scrubbing all surfaces of the hands (palms, backs, between fingers and fingernails) for 20 seconds before rinsing and drying with a clean towel.
Some other preventative measures that are recommended include:
- Avoid close contact with people that have symptoms and maintain social distancing (six feet is the CDC recommendation).
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60-95% alcohol-based) when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face.
- Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, dispose of them promptly and wash your hands.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, remote controls, light switches). These types of surfaces should be routinely wiped down before and after use.
- Maintain healthy practices such as getting adequate sleep, eating well-balanced meals and staying hydrated to keep your immune system strong.
With so much information out there it’s easy to be overwhelmed. We are looking to reputable information sources to understand the facts, and to help educate others. Information on the coronavirus signs and symptoms, recommendations and more can be found on the CDC and WHO websites and your local Health and Public Safety departments.
We all can play a part by being prepared and appreciate the care everyone is taking to slow the spread of this virus. The Ahtna people have survived countless adversities throughout history by working together, sharing and showing compassion to others. Let’s all remember to take a moment to check in on our neighbors and support each other. Our united efforts will get us through this difficult time. We will continue to provide updates as needed on the Ahtna website and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
Ahtna, Inc. President