We are living in extraordinary times and the world is collectively responding to the impacts associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Like many of you, we are learning by the hour about the impacts of this pandemic. The situation is evolving rapidly and we want to share some of the steps we’re taking as a company to respond. We also want to highlight how important simple actions can be by individuals and communities.
As part of Sealaska’s efforts to limit our team’s exposure to COVID-19, we decided to close our Juneau office to the public beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, for a minimum of two weeks. We are also encouraging employees to work remotely and avoid unnecessary travel at this time. These decisions are based on guidance from health authorities asking businesses to explore options around social distancing. As always, the safety and well-being of our employees and shareholders remains our top priority and we will continue to evaluate the situation and take additional actions as necessary.
Please be safe and follow the guidelines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended. Individual actions to self-quarantine when it makes sense, practice social distancing, and actively follow legitimate information sources, can help us limit the worst-case scenarios that this virus could present. The information we have received from public health officials is that COVID-19 presents a greater risk to our Elders and those with chronic health issues. While youth seem to be least affected by the virus, we know that youth will interact with higher-risk community members which can become problematic.
Maintaining the financial stability of the company during this challenging time is also a top priority. At the moment, we are monitoring our businesses and finding ways for us to stay productive while delivering on our operational goals. If anything should change that would materially impact our businesses, we are committed to notifying our shareholders. However, the past two weeks have underscored the need for business and community to be resilient and prepared — qualities that will be needed long after the national health emergency has been resolved.
We will continue to keep you updated as appropriate on new developments. We encourage you to regularly check the Sealaska website and our social media channels for any impacts to the corporation or the general public. Sealaska’s Shareholder Relations will continue to serve shareholders via telephone and the internet. Staff can be reached toll-free at 1.800.848.5921 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shareholders are also encouraged to utilize MySealaska.com, the interactive portal that provides shareholders with the ability to access their personal records.
Taking care of our people is incredibly important to all of us at Sealaska. Supporting our community has been a value of our people for thousands of years and it will continue to guide us through these challenging times. We need community now more than ever. Take care of yourself and your loved ones at this time, don’t promote panic, but instead be informed and choose rational well-informed actions. Reach out on social media or the old-fashioned telephone to reconnect with friends and family, while promoting social distancing. For our villages and rural communities, I want to give a special thanks to our local tribes, community health aides, first responders and all members of the medical field. We thank you for your commitment to keeping our people safe.
Remember, we’re stronger when we’re working together.