EDITOR, Daily News:

Wow the folks are getting it done! I have been so impressed with the coronavirus response here in southern Southeast Alaska. At every level — from each individual to businesses to local governments — we have worked together diligently to flatten the curve, and it is working.

I want to give a huge thank you first and foremost to our medical staff and essential services providers. You are keeping our world turning (even if it is turning a little slower these days). I can’t fully understand the sacrifices you have made for our communities, but I can still recognize them and be immensely appreciative of them. Keep up the hard work!

I also want to give a shout out to our local governments. Thank you for effectively communicating ever-changing policies and information, and for doing what you can to stem the spread of the virus. A special thank you to the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center headed by Ketchikan Fire Department Chief Abner Hoage; our mayors Rodney Dial (Ketchikan Gateway Borough), Bob Sivertsen (City of Ketchikan), Frank Seludo (City of Saxman), Steve Prysunka (City and Borough of Wrangell) and Reggie Atkinson (Metlakatla Indian Community); the respective council/assembly members; and many, many others.

I am very aware of the serious hardships many are facing right now, whether it’s loss of employment and income, fear of the future, or lack of basic needs and well-being. Despite the hardships, I urge you to continue to observe social distancing and to look out for neighbors when they may need extra help. If there is anything I can do to help navigate state services, please don’t hesitate to call my office or email me at Rep.Dan.Ortiz@AKLeg.gov.

I am also social distancing but still want to chat! I will be hosting a virtual coffee hour at 10 a.m. this Saturday on Facebook live. Feel free to send me any questions, concerns or topics you would like me to cover during that time. Talk to you then, and once again, thank you for your continued sacrifices, diligence, and compassion during these tough times.


House District 36