Four new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Anchorage, all adults who were recently traveling, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, bringing the total count up to 36 positive cases in Alaska. Governor Michael Dunleavy announced two new mandates at a Monday press conference, as the State scrambles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Mandatory Traveler Quarantine. $25,000 and a year in jail - that is how serious Dunleavy is wanting travelers to take his order to stay at home two weeks after traveling to or within Alaska. The mandate goes into effect March 25, 2020 at 12:01 am.
Travelers arriving at Alaska airports will be required to declare a designated quarantine location on a mandatory Travel Declaration form. Resident are required to stay home, visitor and worker in their hotel room or rented lodging.
Travelers are compelled to remain in their designated quarantine location for two weeks or until they leave Alaska, and are only allowed to leave that location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
Quarantined individuals are required to stay six feet away from any other people at their residence, hotel room, or rented lodging. They are not allowed to not visit any public spaces nor allowed any visitors other than a physician, healthcare provider, or individual authorized to enter the designated quarantine location by Unified Command.
Excluded from the travel ban are critical infrastructure employees. Employers must submit a plan or protocol for maintaining critical infrastructure to the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development by 3:00 p.m. March 24, outlining how they will avoid the spread of COVID-19 and not endanger the lives of the communities in which they operate, of others who serve as a part of that infrastructure or the ability of that critical infrastructure to function. Critical infrastructure businesses will be allowed to continue their operations.
“Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dental emergency services, pharmacies, other healthcare facilities, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services.
“Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and healthcare services provided to animals. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
Businesses providing any services or performing any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of “Essential Infrastructure,” including, but not limited to, the Port of Alaska, public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil production, mining, logging, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).
Financial services sector, which includes workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services, such as payment, clearing and settlement services, wholesale funding, insurance services, and capital markets activities; to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, movement of currency (e.g. armored cash carriers); support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers; appraisals and titling; and, key third-party providers who deliver core services.
First responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, and law enforcement personnel are critical.
Individuals providing “Essential Governmental Functions” - all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
Grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of food and other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
Food and agriculture, company cafeterias, cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.
Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.
Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services; Educational institutions facilitating distance learning.
Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, bicycle-repair, and related facilities; Hardware stores; Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes; Businesses that transport goods to grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, engaged in the retail sale of food, household consumer products, delivery of fuel, or other services.
Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers; Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out.
Airlines, railroads, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services.
Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home; Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate; Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally-mandated activities.
Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children; Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children; childcare facilities, subject to new recommendations for increased hygiene and social distancing. Childcare facilities should be used only by those who need childcare to work at a critical job.
Business Operations Stopped. Additionally, the State of Alaska has a new mandate stopping operations of all businesses, congregations, or gatherings where individuals are within six feet of each other.
Service industry businesses such as hair salons, day spas and esthetics locations, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo shops, body piercing locations, massage therapy locations and tanning facilities were named as well as operations for rolfing, reiki, acupuncture, acupressure, and similar services.
The mandate also applies to services that may be delivered in the customer’s home or in the home of the licensee.
The Mandate prohibits 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.
This order shall take effect March 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and remain in full force and effect until the Governor rescinds or modifies the order.
This mandate does not include urgent, and emergent health care needs, nor health care facilities; however, health care facilities must do risk assessment screening prior to entering the facility.