Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media

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Nathaniel Herz is an Anchorage-based journalist. He's been a reporter in Alaska for a decade, and is currently reporting for Alaska Public Media. Find more of his work by subscribing to his newsletter, Northern Journal, at natherz.substack.com. Reach him at natherz@gmail.com.
A portrait of a man with a half-zipped fleece

Alaska’s top tribal health executive, Andy Teuber, has resigned

The nonprofit consortium is an umbrella group that coordinates health care for Alaska Native people and helps run the Anchorage Native hospital. It's also one of the state's largest employers, with more than 3,000 workers.

Alaska’s governor is quarantining after possible coronavirus exposure

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is quarantining at his home in Wasilla after one of his close contacts tested positive for COVID-19, the governor's office said in a prepared statement Monday.
a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine

Bad weather Outside delays 3,000 Alaska vaccine doses

The doses were in shipments headed for 21 different providers, and some are having to postpone clinics until the vaccine can arrive next week.
a sign that reads "polling place here"

Alaskans were left in the dark as money poured into elections last year. Now, that’s changing.

Groups on both sides of the political spectrum collected large sums of cash from entities whose funders weren't identified — at least until after the election. One was telecommunications firm GCI, which gave $100,000 to a group that supported a campaign attacking Democratic and independent candidates.
a person pipettes something into a tray

Scientists team up to make Alaska a leader in the hunt for new COVID-19 strains

Alaska's health department has pulled together a group of researchers from the state's public health labs and its university system in hopes of speeding up and expanding its search for more contagious strains of COVID-19.
a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine

An open letter to Alaska Public Media readers

A story published this weekend by Alaska Public Media has demonstrated the urgency for us to form deeper, direct connections to the Alaska Native community, and to have more Native voices involved in shaping our coverage — not just from the outside of our institution, but from the inside.
a person holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine

Eligibility differences between state and tribal health systems frustrate some Alaskans waiting for vaccines

Anchorage's main tribal health provider is vaccinating employees of its affiliated for-profit company and nonprofit organizations without regard to their race, age or vulnerability — frustrating some of the teachers, people with underlying conditions and others enduring an excruciating wait for shots from state government.

The new, more contagious COVID-19 strain arrived in Alaska — a month ago

Identifying the strain of a positive COVID-19 test typically takes about five days. But with these particular samples, workers at a Fairbanks lab encountered a string of technical problems that delayed the results.
a person receives a vaccination

With more vaccines arriving in Alaska, state debuts new appointment hotline

With February’s shipment of COVID-19 vaccine expected soon, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration said Monday that it’s replacing its existing leave-a-message approach with a live hotline.
A person gets tested for coronavirus.

The COVID-19 testing crunch is over. But fewer Alaskans are getting tests — a trend officials want to change.

Supply shortages have relented. And a company built the state’s first commercial testing lab, with the ability to process 20,000 tests a day. Now, there’s a new and different problem: Fewer Alaskans are getting tested.
people waiting in line for a vaccine

Health officials consider prioritizing vaccines for teachers

Alaska health officials say that they’re considering moving teachers up on Alaska’s vaccine list as students head back to classrooms in large numbers.
Two people carry a large box into a walk-in freezer.

The Trump administration joined with tribes to get vaccines to rural and Indigenous Alaskans. Here’s how.

After a year of pleading for access to COVID-19 testing and protective equipment, tribal health-care leaders say that a vaccine partnership with the Trump administration has brought good access to doses for rural areas and a measure of relief amid an unrelenting public health crisis.

In a Fairbanks lab, Alaska scientists search for the new, more contagious coronavirus strain

Alaska officials say they wish they could be analyzing more than the 96 samples they're processing every five days. But the state is being strategic about which specimens are targeted for sequencing, said Jayme Parker, a top scientist at the Fairbanks lab.
The columns of the alaska state capitol

On Alaska lawmakers’ wish list: income taxes, a ban on police chokeholds and business protections from COVID lawsuits

Some of the legislation advances familiar concepts that have failed to get traction in the past — levying state income taxes, adopting Daylight Saving Time year-round — but there are plenty of new ideas, too.

In rural Alaska, COVID-19 vaccines hitch a ride on planes, sleds and water taxi

Tribal health care providers have mobilized a massive effort that’s delivering thousands of doses to remote parts of the state, evoking the Serum Run that delivered lifesaving diphtheria treatment to Nome a century ago.
Syringes sit on a table with peple standing in the background out of focus

Alaska will prioritize people 65 and up for next round of COVID-19 vaccine, breaking from federal guidance

The state of Alaska is asking frontline essential workers, teachers, prisoners and others in high-risk settings to wait until those elderly Alaskans can be vaccinated first.
A woman speaking at a podium

Lisa Murkowski’s been vaccinated, and Sullivan and Young will be, too

Members of Congress are eligible for early access to vaccine doses to help ensure continued functioning of government, and a small number of staffers were also offered shots starting early this week.
a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alaska hospitals find bonus COVID-19 vaccine doses in their Pfizer vials

It's one of the most coveted substances in the world. And, like their colleagues around the country, Alaska providers say they're finding an extra dose, and in some cases two extra doses, in their five-dose vials, presenting both benefits and complications.

The first COVID-19 vaccine shipment has arrived in Alaska; shots could start Tuesday

Alaska health officials say the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from drug company Pfizer arrived in the state late Sunday on a UPS plane, and shots are expected to begin this week.
A white man with gray hair and black zippup jacket

As deaths and cases rise, pressure grows on Dunleavy to mandate masks

Municipal and health care leaders are pushing Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy to take a new approach to contain Alaska’s COVID-19 outbreak, as case counts rise, schools remain closed, businesses clash with customers over face coverings and hospitals warn that they're stretched thin.