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 the increased capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases in the future. The base actions that led to our success will continue to be our playbook for the future: • Stay six feet or more away from non-family members. • Wash your hands frequently. • Wipe down surfaces frequently. • Wear a face covering when in a public setting in close contact with others. • Stay home if you are sick and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms. • Be mindful and respectful to those Alaskans that are most vulnerable to this virus. Those being our seniors and those with existing health issues. Under Phases I and II, 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. It is with the listed guidelines and safety advisories that we can empower businesses, organizations and Alaskans to protect themselves and each other while continuing to open responsibly. 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. 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 risks and keep our way of life intact with a few exceptions. The state, local communities, tribal partners, and healthcare providers have come together to do tremendous work. We built up our health care capacity to handle a potential increase in cases. We have increased screening and testing and continued to have robust contact tracing. We have trained our healthcare workers to safely work with, and treat, the virus. We have stockpiled and distributed PPE around the state. 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. Effective Friday May 22, 2020 Alaska is open for business: - All businesses can open - All houses of worship can open - Libraries and museums can open - All recreational activities can open - All sports activities can open It’s the responsibility of individuals, businesses, and organizations to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We encourage all to follow local, state, national, and industry guidelines on ways to conduct business and activities safely. Exceptions/restrictions/closures: - 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel to Alaska remains in place. This will be reevaluated by June 2, 2020, but will be reviewed weekly. - All senior centers, prisons, and institutions will continue to have restricted access. - Any proposed large public gatherings such as festivals and concerts need to consult first with public health before scheduling. - The State will continue to work with large industries to protect their workforce and the communities in which they operate. - Communities may still elect to keep in place travel restrictions. o Some Alaskan communities may wish to extend restrictions on non-essential travel into their communities for health reasons. Check with your local community. - Health Mandates 15 (Elective Medical/Dental), 17 (Commercial Fishing), and 18 (Intrastate Travel) remain in effect. It’s because of you, Alaska, that our statewide numbers remain low. We will keep our numbers low because of your actions.
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