Juneau, AK (STL.News) Governor Mike Dunleavy has released a new COVID-19 recovery and transition plan that begins the process of moving Alaska to the path to normalcy while still effectively managing the virus. Governor Dunleavy issued a directive to all commissioners and state employees to continue following all policies regarding COVID-19 that were in place under the COVID-19 disaster declaration that expires on February 14, 2021.
Over the next several weeks, commissioners will review and advise the governor on which policies are still necessary to keep in place to ease the burden on the public’s interaction with government, and which items he should allow to lapse. The administration is also issuing four health advisories that address general safety, travel and critical infrastructure, with appendices focusing on the seafood industry. The advisories are based on the latest epidemiological data and expertise within the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and outline best practices to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“My administration will begin moving Alaska, its economy and our lives forward through this transition and recovery process,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Make no mistake about it, the virus may be with us for some time. But the data shows that the worst is most likely behind us. Alaska’s vaccination plan is one of the most successful in the country and we have faith that the health care system is robust and prepared. My plan can get us there if we continue to keep an eye on the data and, Alaskans continue taking personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing.”
The State of Alaska has issued three new Health Advisories:
Health Advisory 1 – Recommendations to Keep Alaskans Safe – Addresses the safety measures Alaskans can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Health Advisory 2 – International and Interstate Travel – While Alaska resident and non-resident travelers will no longer be required to have pre-travel negative tests upon arrival, it is still considered one of the best mechanisms to track the virus and prevent community spread. The existing airport testing infrastructure will remain in place to protect Alaskans and visitors alike.
As a reminder, anyone positive for COVID-19 is not allowed to travel.
Health Advisory 3 – Intrastate Travel – Outlines expectations of communities for allowing travel Critical Infrastructure personnel, as well as for community members and Critical Personal needs. The advisory recommends COVID testing three days prior to travel to locations on the road system and the Alaska Marine Highway System. For locations off the road system and the Alaska Marine Highway System, a test is recommended for trips lasting longer than 72 hours before returning to a rural community. Without a test, strict social distancing should be followed.
Health Advisory 4 – Critical Infrastructure – The advisory provides clear guidance for Critical Infrastructure businesses operating in Alaska to protect both communities and industries.
“Throughout the response, the goal of the state has been to support and provide resources to communities and to Alaskans,” said Commissioner Adam Crum. “While we have amended our plans, we will continue to find ways to serve Alaskans as we transition to a recovery phase. We all know there is still a ways to go, but we are in this great position because of Alaskans continuing to do the right thing by protecting themselves and each other, and we will come out stronger on the other side, together.”
Governor Dunleavy will continue to follow what happens throughout Alaska and our healthcare system, and reserves the right to declare a future emergency if the data indicates stricter measures are needed to protect the health and wellbeing of Alaskans.