Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Starting Friday Morning, all Alaska businesses will be allowed to reopen at 100% capacity, this according to an announcement made by Governor Michael Dunleavy on Tuesday evening.

 In addition to businesses, libraries, museums, houses of worship and religious gatherings, and all recreational and sport activities may open.

“Alaska has done an excellent job of managing COVID-19. We responded quickly to an unknown threat to keep our cases low and to ensure our healthcare systems have increased capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases in the future. Under Phases One and Two, businesses and organizations found new and creative ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, and each day we are seeing new national and industry guidelines being released that provide guidance on safely operating. Now is the time for the next phase of our response. To move ahead, we are combining our future phases, while encouraging personal and organizational responsibility to safely operate while mitigating the spread of this disease,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Make no mistake. The virus is with us. We must function with it and manage it. There will be folks who contract the virus and fall ill, but if we follow these guidelines, we can help lower potential cases and keep our way of life intact with a few exceptions. We will monitor the situation daily as we have since this virus arrived in Alaska and we will adjust, if necessary, to handle a growth in case clusters to prevent cases spiking. It’s because of you Alaska, that our statewide numbers remain low. And we will keep our numbers low because of your actions”

Dunleavy encouraged Alaskans to continue to follow health and hygiene protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including: stay six feet apart from non-household members; wash hands frequently; sanitize and clean high touch surfaces frequently; stay home if you are sick, and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms; wear a face covering in public places when near others; and be mindful and respectful to those Alaskans that are most vulnerable to this virus, including Alaska’s senior population and those with existing health conditions.

Some health mandates remain in effect, including the order for self-quarantine for International, Interstate Travel and rural Intrastate Travel, the closure of K-12 Public and Private Schools, the Non-Congregate Sheltering Order, Services by Health Care Providers, Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels and limited visitation access to senior centers, prisons, and institutions.

State officials say they will continue to work with large industries to protect their workforce and the communities in which they operate