Fourteen new cases of COVID-19 detected in five Alaska communities

March 31, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 in five Alaska communities – Anchorage (2), Eagle River (2), Fairbanks (5), Juneau (4) and Kenai (1). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 133.

Two of the new cases are older adults (60+); 10 are adults aged 30-59; and two are younger adults aged 19-29. Five are female and nine are male. Five of the cases are close contacts of previously diagnosed cases; two are travel-related and seven are still under investigation.

So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Homer, Fairbanks, North Pole, Ketchikan, Juneau Palmer, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling and Kenai.

Stay informed

Alaska’s Response

  • Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov
  • Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at gov.alaska.gov/covid19news
  • Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents.

United States Response

Global Response

This press release covers new cases between March 30 at 3 p.m. and March 31 at 3 p.m. when daily case counts are updated at coronavirus.alaska.gov.

Sitka Emergency Operations Center Announces Homemade Patient Mask Donation Program

SITKA, March 31, 2020 – On Monday, the Sitka emergency operations center (EOC) introduced a call to action to crafters to produce handmade surgical masks for donation to SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) facilities as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response. While SEARHC leadership has stated that their personal protective equipment (PPE) quantities are currently sufficient across the region, the Sitka EOC is hoping crafters currently sheltered-in-place would welcome the opportunity to help.

Multiple mask patterns are available online, such as https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/, https://sarahmaker.com/how-to-sew-a-surgical-face-mask-for-hospitals-free-pattern/, https://sweetredpoppy.com/how-to-sew-a-bias-tape-surgical-face-mask-with-flexible-nose/, https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/ as well as many others. While SEARHC facilities are currently closed to visitors to reduce close contact and contamination, the EOC has identified the off-site drop-off location at the Harrigan Centennial Hall entrance.

“While homemade masks are not a viable replacement option for N95 masks, we at SEARHC do see the benefit of supplementing our supply of masks that we use for patients,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl.  “There are opportunities to use these homemade masks for patients, potentially preserving some of our supply.”

N95 masks are approved respiratory PPE by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), properly fitted and constructed to protect from airborne particles.  Homemade masks are considered surgical masks, which are not CDC approved as they are not effective in filtering small particles typically transmitted through coughs or sneezes, including COVID-19.  When worn, these homemade masks could discourage touching of the face and protect from contact with liquids.  Homemade, cloth masks could be properly laundered for reuse.

Avoiding close contact with ill persons remains the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) preferred action to prevent the contracting of any virus.  The CDC also recommends the continued practice of everyday preventive methods, including washing your hands thoroughly and often; covering of coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects; and getting a flu shot. SEARHC continues to recommend that patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, or immune compromise, should contact their doctor immediately if they become ill, while healthy people should stay home if they become sick.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit covid19.searhc.org, call the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799, or visit the City and Borough of Sitka Covid-19 Information page at http://www.cityofsitka.org.

Five New Cases of COVID-19 Detected in Three Alaska Communities

March 30, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced five new cases of COVID-19 in three Alaska communities – Anchorage (2), Fairbanks (2) and Palmer (1). This brings the case count total for Alaska to 119.

All of the new cases are in adults aged 30-59. Four are female and one is male. There are no new hospitalizations or deaths today.

So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Homer, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Fairbanks, North Pole, Palmer, Ketchikan and Juneau.

Stay informed

Alaska’s Response

  • Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov
  • Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at gov.alaska.gov/covid19news
  • Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents.

United States Response

Global Response

EPA Encourages Americans to Only Flush Toilet Paper

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash. Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater. While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. These easy steps will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working for all Americans.
Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to our water utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems. Fixing these backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly. EPA thanks wastewater utilities and their workforce for their courageous efforts at a time when resources may be stretched thin. Having fully operational wastewater services is critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting Americans from other public health risks. Our nation’s wastewater employees are everyday heroes who are on the front line of protecting human health and the environment every single day.   For the latest information from EPA about COVID-19 and water, see: www.epa.gov/coronavirus.    

Twelve new cases of COVID-19 detected in six Alaska communities; third Alaska death

March 29, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 12 new cases of COVID-19 in six  Alaska communities – Anchorage (4), Eagle River (1), Fairbanks (4), North Pole (1), Juneau (1) and Ketchikan (1).

DHSS also reported the third death of an Alaskan from COVID-19. The individual was a 73-year-old Anchorage resident. The patient was tested on March 23 and admitted to an Anchorage hospital and passed away on the evening of March 28.

Five of the new cases are older adults (60+); two are adults aged 30-59; four are younger adults aged 19-29 and one is under 18.  Six are female and six are male. Six of the cases are close contacts of previously diagnosed cases; one is travel-related and five are still under investigation.

So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Fairbanks, North Pole, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Palmer, Seward, Soldotna and Sterling.

Stay informed: Alaska’s Response Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at gov.alaska.gov/covid19news Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents. United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response. Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 detected; first case in a long-term care facility

March 28, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 in six Alaska communities – Anchorage (10), Eagle River (1), Fairbanks (3), North Pole (1), Homer (1) and Soldotna (1).

Ten of the cases are still under investigation. Two cases are known to be travel-related and five are close contacts of previously diagnosed individuals. Five patients are older adults (aged 60+), nine are adults aged 30-59, two are young adults aged 19-29 and one is a child. Seven are male and 10 are female.

This brings Alaska’s total case count to 102. Of these total cases, six have been hospitalized; one new hospitalization was added in this most recent 24-hour period.

In Fairbanks, one of the new positive cases is a resident of a long-term care facility. Foundation Health Partners issued a press release today describing the steps the facility is taking in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology.

“The facility is doing an excellent job of responding swiftly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist. “They are working closely with our epidemiologists to determine which residents and staff are at highest risk for exposure and implementing control measures that are consistent with national guidelines.”

“Together with experts at the CDC, the state has developed and published guidelines for long-term care providers for this this type of situation,” said John Lee, Director of the DHSS Division of Senior and Disabilities Services. “We know how serious COVID-19 infections can be, particularly among older adults. We continue to work with this facility and all providers across the state in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”

Lee is leading a tactical group within the Medical Branch of the Unified Command focused on protecting Alaska’s long-term care centers, as well as older adults and those with underlying health conditions who are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. State health officials are also being guided in their response by a CDC report issued yesterday that analyzes a COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care skilled nursing facility in King County, Washington.

So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Homer, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Fairbanks, North Pole, Palmer, Ketchikan and Juneau.

Stay informed:

  • Alaska’s Response
  • Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov
  • Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at alaska.gov/covid19news
  • Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents.
  • United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
  • Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

FAQ Sheet for New Health Mandates #11 and #12

Why are the mandates so important?
The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which can cause severe illness and death.

Who enforces the mandates? Can I get a ticket if I’m out for non-essential reasons?
State and local law enforcement will enforce. However, the focus will be on education, not enforcement. Law enforcement officials will be responding to complaints and educating the public when they notice obvious violations that jeopardize the safety of individuals or the community.

What if someone isn’t complying with the mandates?
Alaskans are expected to comply with all mandates. These measures have been put in place to flatten the COVID-19 curve and protect the health of all Alaskans. Alaskans who disregard the mandates are putting themselves and their communities at risk. If you feel like you need to report non-compliance, send an email to investigations@alaska.gov

Can the mandates be changed?
Yes. As the situation changes and more information is available, the governor and public health officials can issue new orders and directives as needed.

Health Mandate 011: Statewide Social-Distancing

What is the purpose of mandate 11?
This mandate’s purpose is to restrict the movement of individuals within the State of Alaska in order to prevent, slow and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

How long does mandate 11 last?
The social distancing mandate goes into effect at 5 p.m. on March 28, 2020 and remains in effect until the Governor of Alaska rescinds or modifies the order. It will be reevaluated by April 11.

What does mandate 11 say?
All persons in Alaska, except for those engaged in essential health care services, public government services, and essential business activities, are mandated to remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing. Read the full mandate online at https://gov.alaska.gov/home/covid19-healthmandates/

How do I keep from getting the virus?
The science is definitive that maintaining six feet or more from other people will greatly diminish your risk of getting the virus. This, and washing your hands, not touching your face, and wiping down surfaces are the best public health guidance about preventing the spread of this virus. Since there are no current vaccination or antiviral treatments, the primary goal is to prevent getting the virus in the first place. Standing six feet away or more from others is the best way to do this.

Should I wear a mask?
A mask will not necessarily prevent you from catching the virus, however, it will limit YOU from spreading the virus if you are infected, and reduce the projection of a sneeze or cough below six feet.

Does this mandate apply if I don’t have any symptoms?
Yes. This mandate applies to every person (unless specifically exempted), whether or not they have symptoms. It is designed to prevent further community spread of the virus, which has shown to be transmittable from individuals who have no symptoms.

Do immediate family members need to maintain six feet from each other?
No, immediate family members may still be closer than six feet. However, it’s important to know that COVID-19 can quickly pass between family members so it’s wise to wash your hands often, especially if someone has left the house on an essential errand. Anyone who is ill and self-isolating at home should be also isolated from family members as much as possible.

Does this change the “10 person” gathering rule?
No. Gatherings of 10 people or more are still prohibited. When in public you must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other members of the public.

Do I need a permit to move around?
No. When outside you must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other members of the public.

Can older people leave the house on essential errands?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that older adults, age 64 and older, and those with underlying health conditions not leave home at all, even to run errands. The State of Alaska recommends that these more vulnerable populations order food or necessary items using
available services from stores and restaurants, or ask for help from a relative, friend or neighbor. For the safety of everyone, stay home.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends? Or a family member or friend who has disabilities?
Yes. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines to protect them and you. If you are sick with any respiratory illness, stay home and find someone else to help care for them.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
No. This is difficult but necessary to protect facility staff and other patients. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with someone younger than 18 or who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life.

What about persons experiencing homelessness?
This population is exempt from this stay home order, and local communities and nonprofits are working to find appropriate accommodations for our homeless population during this time.

Can I get groceries?
Yes, grocery stores remain open but you must maintain six feet of social distancing. Take advantage of grocery delivery or pickup services. All Alaskans are encouraged to limit their number of weekly trips to the grocery store and to shop alone, do not bring the entire family into the store. If you MUST go to the grocery store, you MUST remain six feet away from anyone.

Please keep at least six feet from others when you are out in public, wash your hands often and wipe down frequently-touched surfaces. Do not go grocery shopping if you are ill with a respiratory infection; if you are ill, you should be isolating yourself at home, including from family members.

Do I need to stock up on groceries? Do we expect to see supply chain disruptions?
No. It is a good idea to have enough food in your pantry that you don’t need to go shopping frequently, but there is no need to hoard large amounts of supplies. Please leave supplies on the shelves for fellow Alaskans who may need them. Alaska’s supply chain is intact and no disruptions are expected.

If I won’t be able to buy groceries or pay rent, are there services to help me?
Yes. You may be eligible for public assistance for food, medical care, rent, and more. Please reach out to the Division of Public Assistance for program questions.

For unemployment insurance questions, please go to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Will public transportation be available, like buses?
Public transportation is only available for those who provide or obtain essential services. The number of riders is being limited to allow for enough physical distance between passengers.

Can I still go out to pick up my prescription?
Yes. You may leave your home to visit a pharmacy. If possible, use the drive-thru option to collect your prescription.

Will restaurants be open?
Restaurants may be open for takeout, drive-thru and delivery services only.

Can restaurants still provide take-out services under this mandate?
Yes, but they must do so while maintaining six feet between people at all times. If there are lines, restaurants must ensure people are adequately spaced. Systems must be implemented to prevent close contact when customers pick up food or pay for their order.

Is commercial construction considered essential?
Commercial construction is considered essential, as is any public works construction, but they will need to follow distancing and cleaning guidelines as they continue to work

Are hotels and resorts essential businesses?
Only for the purpose of providing essential services, such as housing, or for isolation or quarantine.

Do I have to stay home and inside, or can I go outside for exercise and recreation?
Outdoor activity near your home is OK and encouraged for your health and well-being, but always keep at least six feet between people who do not live in your immediate household.

Social distancing requirements are in effect on paths, trails, sidewalks, riverbanks, beaches, parks, and anyplace outside on private or public property where people might gather. Crowds of 10 people or more are prohibited.

Can I take my child to a playground?
Playgrounds may still be open, but they are not the safest places to be right now. Children tend to play in close proximity to each other in a playground while adults congregate to watch their children. Choose recreational options that congregate people less.

If you take your child to a playground, bring your own cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer, and be sure to immediately sanitize hands and surfaces to prevent the spread of the virus from surface to surface.

What can I do? What’s open?
You must stay six feet away from non-family members. With that said, if you need to go shopping, there are delivery services and pickup options available at most grocery stores. However, if you need to go in person, you must remain six feet from everyone else.
• Health care facilities
• Gas stations
• Pharmacies
• Food: Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
• Banks and credit unions
• Laundromats/laundry services
• Veterinary services
• Hardware stores
• Limited child care for essential workers
• Essential federal, state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.
• Reference the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order for a full list.

What’s closed?
Many businesses are closed to gathering. Reference the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order for a full list of what is open.
• Dine-in restaurants – except for drive-thru, delivery and carry-out
• Bars and nightclubs
• Entertainment venues
• Gyms and fitness studios
• Public events and gatherings
• Convention centers
• Hair and nail salons
• Reference the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order for a full list.

Can I call a plumber?
Yes. Plumbing and other critical home repairs are considered essential businesses. You may call a plumber or other home repair businesses if you need one, but keep physical distance between you and the repair people who come into your home and practice proper hygiene. Non-critical plumbing needs should be delayed.

Can I drive somewhere to recreate?
You are not prohibited from driving, but you must stay six feet away from non-family members.

Can I drive to my cabin and hunker down there?
Going to your cabin is not prohibited, but you must stay six feet away from non-family members.

May I go clothes shopping?
Casual shopping is not encouraged at this time, as you must remain six feet away from everyone. Deliveries of goods and services to your home is recommended.

What if I’m dating someone who lives in another household? Am I allowed to visit that person?
You must stay six feet away from anyone who is not a family member. Not doing so endangers the members of the dating partners’ families.

What if I want to have a family celebration for a birthday, graduation or another important milestone?
We are in the midst of a pandemic. You must stay six feet away from anyone. It is highly advisable that such gatherings be postponed at this time.

Health Mandate 012: Intrastate Travel
Limiting travel between communities to critical infrastructure or
critical personal needs

What is the purpose of mandate 12?
The purpose of this mandate is to control the movement of individuals within Alaska in order to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

How long does mandate 12 last?
The intrastate travel mandate goes into effect at 8 a.m. on March 28, 2020 and remains in effect until the Governor of Alaska rescinds or modifies the order. It will be reevaluated by April 21.

What does mandate 12 say?
All in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure; or for critical personal needs. Certain Small Alaskan communities may implement further travel restriction pursuant to “Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order – Attachment B.” Read the full mandate online at
https://gov.alaska.gov/home/covid19-healthmandates/

What does mandate 12 mean?
Unless you are obtaining or providing an essential service that requires you to be out in the public, Alaskans should not be traveling between communities. Alaskans may go outside to exercise and recreate, but must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other members of the public.
Workers are encouraged to work from home, unless they work in health care, public service or other businesses deemed essential, as defined in the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order (formerly Attachment A).

This mandate covers the entire state. The goal is to eliminate any unnecessary contacts outside of immediate family members to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, while maintaining essential health care services, public government services, and other essential business activities.

Are employees of essential services and critical infrastructure permitted to travel?
Yes, however essential services and critical infrastructure entities are recommended to limit their travel within Alaska to key personnel, in order to mitigate the risk to their own employees and the communities where they operate. However, those entities are required to submit a travel plan or protocol consistent with mandates.

Does mandate 12 supersede earlier mandates?
This mandate strengthens and clarifies pre-existing mandates, but does not revoke those mandates.

Is commercial fishing considered an essential service, and can fishing vessels sail port to port?
Yes, commercial fishing is an essential service and part of critical infrastructure. Fishing vessels can sail to port to port in Alaska, but have the responsibility to monitor their crew for signs and symptoms, report any issues to the appropriate authorities, and mitigate the risk of exposure to the small communities in which they operate.

Is oil production, shipping, and refining essential?
Yes.

Are airports still open?
Yes, the public airports in Alaska remain open. Travel is limited to essential travel, and in addition, anyone coming into Alaska from out of state is required to complete a Travel Declaration Form and self-quarantine for 14 days, per State of Alaska Mandate 10.1. Airport officials are encouraging social distancing throughout airport facilities.

Can I drive to visit or fly to visit another family member in Alaska?
No. This is not considered “essential business.”

Sitka Public Library Closure Update

In conjunction with state-mandated school closures, Sitka Public Library will remain closed until May 1, 2020. This is a safety measure intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. All online services will remain available throughout the closure. No late fees will be charged during this time. Patrons may return items to the outside book drop or keep them until the library is open. Office hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Monday-Saturday, and staff can be contacted at 747-4020 or 747-4021. Please give us a call if you have any questions and we are happy to help over the phone. For updates about library services, please check the Sitka Public Library Facebook page or visit our website.

Thank you for your support and cooperation during this time!

First in-state Alaskan death from COVID-19

March 27, 2020, ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) reported the state’s first in-state death today related to COVID-19.

This is the second Alaska death. The first Alaska resident to have died from COVID-19 was a resident of Southeast Alaska who died on March 16 at a health care facility in King County, Washington, after a prolonged stay there.

 “Our hearts go out to the deceased’s friends and family members,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “We are also thinking of the health care providers who cared for this patient. We will continue to work tirelessly with our federal, state, local and Tribal partners to effectively respond to this crisis.”

The individual who died today was a 63-year-old person with underlying health conditions. The deceased was receiving treatment at an Anchorage hospital and had tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 25.

“As we grieve this loss, we need to collectively resolve to do our part to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “This is an unfortunate reminder that COVID-19 is a life-threatening illness.”

In addition to the announcement of the second Alaska death, DHSS announced 16 new positive cases in six Alaska communities – Anchorage (9), Girdwood (1), Fairbanks (3), North Pole (1), Juneau (1), and Ketchikan (1). This brings Alaska’s total case count to 85.

Nine of today’s new cases are male; seven are female. Eight of the new cases are adults, seven are aged 19-29 and one is a child. Nine of the cases are close contacts of previously diagnosed cases, one is travel-related and six are still under investigation.

Alaska public health officials urge anyone with any respiratory illness, regardless of how mild, to stay home for a period of at least 14 days. Travelers arriving from anywhere in the U.S. or elsewhere are now required to self-quarantine at home for the same period of time.

All Alaskans are urged to practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds, wash hands frequently, and maintain a six foot distance from others. Alaska is continuing to release guidance to keep Alaskans and their families healthy. Find more information at www.coronavirus.alaska.gov.

Stay informed:

  • Alaska’s Response
    • Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov
    • Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at gov.alaska.gov/covid19news 
    • Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents.
  • United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
  • Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.​

**Health Mandate** Intrastate Travel Limitation

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the State of Alaska is issuing its twelfth health mandate based on its authority under the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020.

Given the increasing concern for new cases of COVID-19 being transmitted via community spread within the state, Governor Dunleavy and the State of Alaska are issuing the following mandate to go into effect March 28, 2020 at 8:00 am and will be reevaluated by April 11, 2020.

This mandate is issued to protect the public health of Alaskans. The Governor looks to establish consistent mandates across the State in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The goal is to flatten the curve and disrupt the spread of the virus.

The purpose of this mandate is to control the movement of individuals within Alaska in order to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The State of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) acknowledge the importance of minimizing intrastate travel to avoid introducing new COVID-19 cases into Alaska communities and slow the spread of the virus in state. It is imperative that Alaskans heed these guidelines.

Critical infrastructure is vital to keeping Alaska safe, and as a result businesses and employees of critical infrastructure industries must, to the extent reasonably feasible, take reasonable care to protect their staff and operations during this pandemic. If your business is included in “Alaska’s Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure” (formerly Attachment A), you must submit a travel plan or protocol for maintaining critical infrastructure to akcovidplans@ak-prepared.com. The plan should outline how you will avoid the spread of COVID-19 and not endanger the lives of the communities in which you operate, of others who serve as a part of that infrastructure, or the ability of that critical infrastructure to function. If you have already submitted a plan pursuant to Health Mandate 10.1 related to interstate travel, you do not need to submit another plan.

Critical infrastructure includes those items listed in “Alaska’s Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure” (formerly Attachment A) https://gov.alaska.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/03232020-COVID-19-Health-Mandate-010-Attachment-A.pdf

Health Mandate 012 – Intrastate Travel – Limiting travel between communities to critical infrastructure or critical personal needs.

Effective 8:00 am March 28, 2020

All in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure, or for critical personal needs. Certain Small Alaskan communities may implement further travel restriction pursuant to “Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order – Attachment B.”

Personal travel is prohibited except as necessary to meet critical personal needs or work in critical infrastructure jobs. Critical personal needs include buying, selling, or delivering groceries and home goods; obtaining fuel for vehicles or residential needs; transporting family members for out-of-home care, essential health needs, or for purposes of child custody exchanges; receiving essential health care; providing essential health care to a family member; obtaining other important goods; and engaging in subsistence activities. Travelers are reminded to follow social distancing measures, including, to the extent reasonably feasible, keeping six feet away from others, avoiding crowded places, and limiting public gatherings to less than ten people. Read the “Mandate 11 and 12 FAQ’s” for more details.

No one traveling to or from any community for critical reasons or critical personal travel may be subject to any automatic quarantine or isolation on arrival except as allowed under Alaska Statutes or Health Mandates.
Air carriers and other travel-related businesses have no duty to verify that intrastate travelers meet the criteria for permissible travel under this heath mandate. Air carriers shall inquire if travelers are permitted to travel under this mandate and shall rely upon a traveler’s assurance that they are eligible to travel.

***This Mandate supersedes any local government or tribal mandate, directive, or order restricting intrastate travel ***