COVID-19 in Alaska

All state-operated libraries, archives and museums will be closed until March 31 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

An update on the outbreak

BY SERINE REEVES


THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK IS ON THE MINDS OF FAMILIES, travelers, and diplomats worldwide. Here are the latest updates from our corner of the world: Alaska.

The first case of COVID-19 in Alaska was discovered in a cargo pilot on March 12 in Anchorage. Since then, 3 more cases have been discovered in Anchorage, 3 cases have been discovered in Fairbanks, a case in Ketchikan and a case in Seward. That makes 9 total cases across the state. So far, all cases are travel related.

The State of Alaska has been working to limit social contact among its residents. A health mandate was signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 13 declaring that students will not be attending school until March 30. The mandate also suspended visitation for the Department of Corrections Facilities, Division of Juvenile Justice Facilities, Alaska Military Youth Academy and the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and limited visitation to Alaska Pioneer Homes senior centers. A second health mandate was issued by the governor on March 16 stating that all state-operated libraries, archives, and museums will be closed until March 31.

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz signed an emergency order banning social gathering at restaurants and bars, gyms, and theaters through March 31 in Alaska’s largest city. Drive-through, take-out, and delivery services are allowed to operate, and grocery stores are still allowed to remain open according to the Municipality of Anchorage. Many businesses are limiting contact with customers and sending employees home to work remotely.

Canada, on the eastern border of Alaska, is limiting traveler access to the country. According to several news outlets, including CNN and CNBC, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on March 16 that Canada is closing its borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or residents. The ban does not currently apply to U.S. citizens, or individuals essential to the shipment of goods into the country.

For more detailed information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov and the World Health Organization at www.who.int.

For updates from the State of Alaska visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx and for updates from the Municipality of Anchorage visit https://www.muni.org/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx.

This is a developing story that was last updated on March 19, 2020, at 7:00 a.m. Please check back for updates.

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