March 10, 2020 (Anchorage, AK) – Governor Mike Dunleavy, with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), today announced new recommendations to help prevent or slow the spread of cases of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Alaska. Although Alaska currently has no known cases of COVID-19, the disease is spreading rapidly both globally and in the United States. State officials, working with diverse partners in communities statewide, have been actively preparing for a positive case and the likelihood of community transmission in Alaska.
“Information surrounding the Coronavirus Disease is evolving rapidly and we are going to be adjusting our approaches as a state and as individuals. We will be adding more tools to the toolbox to combat this virus and ensure Alaska is prepared,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I want Alaskans to know we have been working on our Coronavirus Disease preparedness daily and are learning from other states and countries. The question is, ‘Are we going to be prepared?’ We are going to be prepared as well as, if not more than, any other state.”
Today’s recommendations are based on guidance from the CDC and the Alaska DHSS Division of Public Health. These are concrete steps individuals can do to keep communities safe. The recommendations include everyday preventive measures for all Alaskans and new measures for people older than 60, or those with chronic health conditions, such as staying home as much as possible, keeping prescription medicines and groceries on hand and avoiding crowds.
“These voluntary measures may seem sudden and extreme to some Alaskans, but the time to act is now, even before we detect cases in Alaska,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “Alaska is prepared but we are a unique state, with unique circumstances. We are asking for the cooperation of all Alaskans in following these guidelines. Based on what we know from previous epidemics, we know that early invention can help save lives.”
Please see the official State of Alaska Health Alert for the latest recommendations.
For the latest information on COVID-19, click here.
Media Contact: Jeff Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 310-4961