A Message from the President & CEO
Many are understandably concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. While the overall risk to the public is currently low, we want you to know that we are taking this pandemic very seriously. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, the health and safety of BSNC shareholders, employees and the communities in which we work and live remain BSNC’s top priority. While BSNC is not currently experiencing any significant disruption to its business operations, we are prepared with resources to continue providing optimal and uninterrupted service to our customers and shareholders.
Many companies, schools, governments, organizations and cities have acted swiftly to postpone or cancel events to safeguard against the transmission of COVID-19. Many of you may know that BSNC postponed its Shareholder Informational Meeting that was scheduled to take place in Tulalip, Washington on Saturday, March 28. I care deeply about protecting the health and safety of BSNC shareholders, employees and the public. When I made the decision to postpone this informational meeting, I also thought of the healthcare providers at the frontlines battling this pandemic, tasked with the challenge of keeping our communities healthy. BSNC has not yet selected a new date for this informational meeting. As we explore options for new dates, please know that our priority is the health and safety of our shareholders.
I understand and empathize with many of our shareholders’ concerns and fears about this virus. The historical memory of the 1918 flu pandemic and the catastrophic effects it had on the population of our region has not been forgotten.
We Alaska Native people have thrived in remarkably difficult conditions for thousands of years. We are resilient. We adapt to changes and yet remain steadfast in our tradition of looking out for each other. I am confident that we will get through this public health crisis.
While COVID-19 is serious, with preparation and planning, you can help protect yourselves and your loved ones. I encourage you to take the following actions in addition to common hygiene measures:
Create a household plan:
• Before a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community, it is important to identify the needs of each individual at home and to plan for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications.
• Communicate with your neighbors about emergency planning.
• Designate a separate room and commodities for those who get sick.
• Be prepared for childcare facilities to be temporarily dismissed as well as changes at your workplace setting.
• Create an emergency contact list.
If a COVID-19 outbreak does occur in your community, here is some interim guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Practice social distancing by limiting close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet).
• Stay at home from work, school and all other activities when you are sick.
• Stay away from others who are sick.
• If possible, sick household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom.
• Discourage kids and teens from gathering in public places and in groups if school is dismissed.
BSNC will continue to closely monitor guidance from the CDC and state health agencies regarding this pandemic and continuously update its shareholders through its regular communication channels, including the Agluktuk newsletter, our social media outlets and on BSNC’s COVID-19 public resource webpage at www.beringstraits.com/covid-19-update/. We are happy to answer any questions you may have via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.
Gail R. Schubert
BSNC President & CEO