Alaska - COVID-19 Covered

Alaska

Total Cases: 466 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 54,190 (June 1)
Fatalities: 10 (June 2)
Testing:
  • Healthcare providers in Anchorage have collaborated to establish drive-thru test sites for COVID-19, the first of which opened on March 16 and is open from 9am to 7pm daily. (March 17)
  • Individuals who suspect they may have COVID-19 must be referred to the testing site by a doctor before using the service. Those without a primary care provider “can be referred by urgent care or a Providence ExpressCare clinic,” according to a spokesperson. (March 17)
  • The state has ordered health insurers to “waive any cost-sharing for laboratory diagnostic testing for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, respiratory panel tests, and COVID-19, per a statement issued by the director of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. (March 6)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • An Alaska Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the state in a case over whether Governor Dunleavy has the authority to keep state workers on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 1)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued a health mandate ordering all businesses, except those listed in Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order, to “cease all activities […] except Minimum Basic Operations” – the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, process payroll and employee benefits, etc. (March 27)
  • Governor Dunleavy ordered all businesses, congregations and gatherings where individuals are within six feet of each other to cease operations, including hair salons, spas, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, massage therapy locations and tanning salons. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Dunleavy plans to lift restrictions on elective medical procedures to begin reopening segments of society. (April 15)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued an extension to his order closing all restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, with the order remaining in effect until further notice. (April 1)
  • Governor Dunleavy ordered “all bars, breweries, restaurants, food and beverage kiosks or trucks, and other establishments serving food or beverages within the State of Alaska” to close to public dine-in service until at least 5pm on April 1. (March 17)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Dunleavy announced that eligible Alaskans will receive their Permanent Fund dividend checks on July 1, three months earlier than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 20)
  • Governor Dunleavy has directed the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to work with federal partners to disperse funding to the Child Care Program Office in order to meet the needs of childcare providers across the state. (May 12)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced an amendment to the COVID-19 Disaster Order of Suspension that would suspend certain fees, regulations, and statutes through May 11. (April 10)
  • State lawmakers removed a proposed state stimulus from the budget that would have provided $1,000 checks to Alaskans out of work or working reduced hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 30)
  • The State of Alaska is set to receive at least $1.25 billion in federal aid from the multitrillion-dollar COVID-19 relief package. (March 26)
  • Governor Dunleavy signed HB 308, to expand unemployment insurance benefits by waiving the one-week waiting period, increasing weekly benefit amounts and protecting workers affected by COVID-19. (March 26)
  • The Alaska Legislature has approved a bill that would lower rates for residents of state-supported elder-care facilities. (March 25)
  • The Alaska Legislature passed a bill (HB 243) that appropriates $8.5 million to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to pay for grants to municipalities impacted by commercial passenger vessel operations for responding and mitigating the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. (March 18)

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Dunleavy issued a health mandate allowing eligible emergency protective measures at the direction of state public health officials to be reimbursed, including the costs of NCS for both state and local jurisdictions to protect vulnerable populations. (April 13)
  • Governor Dunleavy amended one of his COVID-19 Disaster Orders of Suspension to include additional suspensions of certain state government fees and fines. (April 3)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced that Alaska businesses can now apply for the US Small Business Administration’s low-interest federal disaster loans. (March 21)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced he had reached an agreement with the state’s lending community “to provide small business bridge loans to hurting businesses and their impacted employees.” (March 20)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • The State of Alaska released guidelines for Phases 3 and 4 of reopening. Beginning on May 22, most of the state’s health mandates will become advisories instead, with a few exceptions. (May 21)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced Alaska’s economy will fully reopen on May 22, allowing bars, restaurants, gyms, retail stores, and all other businesses to open ahead of Memorial Day Weekend without any capacity restrictions imposed by the state. (May 19)
  • Governor Dunleavy signed his 19th Health Mandate, extending the mandated 14-day quarantine for travelers from outside Alaska to June 2. (May 15)
  • Governor Dunleavy signed his 18th Health Mandate, allowing travel between communities on the road system and in-state travel by the Alaska Marine Highway System. (May 12)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced that Phase 2 of his plan to reopen Alaska will begin May 8, when fitness centers, swimming pools, bars, libraries, and museums will be allowed to reopen, under certain restrictions. Social and religious gatherings of up to 50 people will also be permitted. (May 6)
  • Governor Dunleavy eased restrictions on intrastate travel first laid out in his 12th health mandate, allowing Alaskans to travel within the state, on the road system, and for outdoor recreation under certain circumstances. (April 23)
  • Governor Dunleavy unveiled Phase One of the state’s plan to reopen segments of its economy, which calls for allowing restaurants, retail stores, barbers, nail salons, hairdressers, and some other non-essential businesses to reopen if they follow certain social distancing guidelines. (April 21)
    • Governor Dunleavy issued his 16th COVID-19 health mandate, the first in a series to reopen Alaska. (April 22)
  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz unveiled his four-phase plan to open the city after the state’s “hunker down” COVID-19 order. (April 20)
  • Approximately 70 Alaska tribes have reportedly implemented travel restrictions in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, limiting incoming air, land and water traffic in remote villages across the state. (April 11)
  • The Alaskan government has issued an order directing Alaskans to stay home and close all non-essential businesses. (March 29)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued a health mandate prohibiting personal travel unless necessary to meet critical personal needs or work in critical infrastructure jobs. (March 27) The order will be reconsidered on April 11. (March 30)
  • At least one small Alaskan village has reportedly “banned all visitors and is mandating that anyone who leaves during the outbreak be quarantined for 30 days.” (March 24)
  • Governor Dunleavy has ordered that all those entering Alaska, “whether resident, worker or visitor, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for illness.” (March 23)
  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued a “hunker down” order for the city, which went into effect at 10pm on March 22. (March 22)
  • Governor Dunleavy stated, “Nothing is off the table […] and we’re examining any and all approaches to protecting Alaskans.” (March 20)

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The City of Anchorage has reportedly closed all playgrounds. (April 6)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued an extension to his order closing all state-operated libraries, archives and museums, with the order remaining in effect until further notice. (April 1)
  • Governor Dunleavy announced a statewide closure of all bear hunts effective now through May 31. (April 1)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued a heath mandate ordering residents to practice social distancing, including instructions to work from home as much as possible, keep six feet between themselves and the nearest person, and cease participation in all public and private gatherings regardless of the number of people involved. (March 27)
  • Governor Dunleavy ordered that “no gatherings of more than 10 people may take place, and if a gathering does take place people must be six feet apart from each other.” (March 23)
  • Anchorage announced that only nine passengers would be permitted to be on each bus at a time until further notice. (March 20)
  • Governor Dunleavy ordered all state-operated libraries, archives and museums to close to the public through at least March 31. (March 17)
  • The Alaska Court System announced it would temporarily suspend jury trials in some municipalities, and lawmakers voted to close the State Capitol to the public and put new restrictions on visitors to long-term care facilities and nursing homes. (March 13)

Delivery Services:

  • The state has encouraged places of public accommodation to use delivery and to-go services. (March 17).

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Alaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson announced a framework for developing a plan for the state’s K-12 schools (here), including a list of considerations and scenarios schools should think about when planning for the 2020-2021 school year. (May 20)
  • Governor Dunleavy issued a health mandate closing all K-12 public and private schools in Alaska until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. (April 9)
  • The state has closed all public schools until at least March 30. (March 13)
  • After-school activities have also been suspended and Governor Dunleavy has ordered all boarding school programs to send students home. (March 20)
  • A list of statewide closures can be found here.

State Higher Education:

  • The University of Alaska System extended its spring break through March 23, and students have been told to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. The university plans to move most of its classes online (March 20).

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