16 more bring total to 85 COVID-19 cases in Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, January 24, 2021
HomePolitics16 more bring total to 85 COVID-19 cases in Alaska

16 more bring total to 85 COVID-19 cases in Alaska



The Department of Health and Social Service said 16 more cases of the COVID-19 virus have been identified in Alaska. The case total is 85 and the first death inside Alaska has been announced.

The death was a woman of 63 with underlying medical conditions, who checked into the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage after testing positive earlier this week. Another Alaskan died earlier this month at a Seattle area health care facility where he was being cared for in regards to a different health problem he was experiencing.

The current count of the Wuhan coronavirus in Alaska includes:

  • Anchorage: 43
  • Girdwood: 1 (part of the Anchorage 43)
  • Fairbanks/North Pole/Interior: 19
  • Mat/Su: 2
  • Ketchikan: 12
  • Juneau: 4
  • Kenai Peninsula communities: 5

New mandates were introduced by Commissioner of Health and Social Services Adam Crum.

The 11th health mandate requires people, as much as possible, to stay home and when possible work from home. Outdoor activity can be undertaken so long as people stay six feet away from each other.

The 12th health mandate puts an end to all nonessential travel within the state.

Health Mandate 011 – Social Distancing

Effective 5 p.m. March 28, 2020:

All persons in Alaska, except for those engaged in essential health care services, public government services, and essential business activities, are mandated to remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing. For the purpose of this mandate, social distancing is defined as maintaining a distance of six feet or greater from any individuals with whom you do not currently reside. Read the “Mandate 11 & 12 FAQ’s” for more details, which can be found here: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx

Critical infrastructure includes those items listed in “Alaska’s Essential Services and Critical Infrastructure” (formerly Attachment A) https://gov.alaska.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/03232020-COVID-19-Health-Mandate-010-Attachment-A.pdf

I. The Governor orders individuals to abide by the following:

  1. Work from home as much as possible (see Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order).
  2. Immediately isolate any family member who is ill. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions
  3. Outdoor activity (e.g., walking, hiking, bicycling, running, fishing or hunting) is permitted when a distance of six or more feet can be maintained between individuals not in the same household. 
  4. Any individual who exhibits symptoms of illness must not leave their home, including to work, except as necessary to seek or receive medical care.
  5. All individuals shall cease participation in public or private gatherings that include non-household members, regardless of the number of people involved. This includes, but is not limited to, weddings, faith gatherings, graduations, and funeral events.
  6. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this mandate but are urged to obtain shelter.

II. The Governor orders the closure of non-essential businesses:

  1. All businesses within Alaska, except those listed in Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the state except Minimum Basic Operations, as defined in Section II(c). For clarity, businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). 
  2. For purposes of this Mandate, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or corporate or entity structure.
  3. Minimum Basic Operations” include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:
    1. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
    2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

III. The Governor orders employers to abide by the following:

  1. Businesses providing essential services and critical infrastructure will, to the extent reasonably feasible, take reasonable precautions to ensure the health of their service sector and employees.
  2. Public-facing businesses providing essential services and critical infrastructure will proactively promote social distancing between employees and others, including, but not limited to, expanding delivery options, drive-through services, limiting the number of individuals in a building, clearly spacing lines to keep individuals six feet apart, or making appointment times to minimize interactions between members of the public.
  3. Employers will evaluate which of their employees can feasibly work remotely from home and to the extent reasonable, take steps to enable employees to work from home.

A violation of a state COVID-19 Mandate may subject a business or organization to an order to cease operations and/or a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation.

In addition to the potential civil fines noted above, a person or organization that fails to follow the state COVID-19 Mandates designed to protect the public health from this dangerous virus and its impact may, under certain circumstances, also be criminally prosecuted for Reckless Endangerment pursuant to Alaska Statute 11.41.250. Reckless endangerment is defined as follows:

(a) A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
(b) Reckless endangerment is a class A misdemeanor.

Pursuant to Alaska Statute 12.55.135, a defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment of not more than one year.

Additionally, under Alaska Statute 12.55.035, a person may be fined up to $25,000 for a class A misdemeanor, and a business organization may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greatest of $2,500,000 for a misdemeanor offense that results in death, or $500,000 for a class A misdemeanor offense that does not result in death.

This mandate supersedes any local government or tribal mandate, directive, or order.


Travel within the state is prohibited except for essential critical personal needs, such as groceries, fuel, essential health needs, and transporting family members for health care.

Health Mandate 012 – Intrastate Travel – Limiting travel between communities to critical infrastructure or critical personal needs.

Effective 8:00 am March 28, 2020

All in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure, or for critical personal needs. Certain Small Alaskan communities may implement further travel restriction pursuant to “Alaska Small Community Emergency Travel Order – Attachment B.”

Personal travel is prohibited except as necessary to meet critical personal needs or work in critical infrastructure jobs. Critical personal needs include buying, selling, or delivering groceries and home goods; obtaining fuel for vehicles or residential needs; transporting family members for out-of-home care, essential health needs, or for purposes of child custody exchanges; receiving essential health care; providing essential health care to a family member; obtaining other important goods; and engaging in subsistence activities. Travelers are reminded to follow social distancing measures, including, to the extent reasonably feasible, keeping six feet away from others, avoiding crowded places, and limiting public gatherings to less than ten people. Read the “Mandate 11 and 12 FAQ’s” for more details.

No one traveling to or from any community for critical reasons or critical personal travel may be subject to any automatic quarantine or isolation on arrival except as allowed under Alaska Statutes or Health Mandates. 
Air carriers and other travel-related businesses have no duty to verify that intrastate travelers meet the criteria for permissible travel under this heath mandate. Air carriers shall inquire if travelers are permitted to travel under this mandate and shall rely upon a traveler’s assurance that they are eligible to travel.

Donations Welcome


Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan have handled things just fine without shutting businesses down or quarantining all people. They just quarantine those who are sick and maybe those that have been around them. Better results for the flu, better results for the economy. The media has been driving this crazy narrative that everyone staying home and all businesses being shut down will work better. What a foolish strategy.

      • So once you get past the Mise Institutes bias and ideological bent, you find that Taiwan’s government warned it’s citizens immediately of the enormity of the threat, they had a testing regimen ready to go and deployed it, both among it’s civilian population and at it’s airports so they didn’t have to ban travel and their citizens were, in general, cooperative and trusted the warnings given by their government.
        Kind of the opposite of our response, especially early on.
        The clear lesson is that ignoring warnings, ignoring pre-planning puts a country at a disadvantage, refusing to prepare and minimizing the risk, especially early in an emergency, compounds the spread of contagion and ridiculing government and resisting best practices puts more people at risk and complicates any response as the crisis unfolds..

    • Reading this list of who can stay open is pretty long and covers a lot of businesses that are needed. it seems to me it would be easier to understand who can’t stay open. But then again, you can’t single them out due to being fair can you. Seems to me that the scare alone is creating more damage than the virus itself…..

      • When do you understand that it’s not a “scare”?

    • I drive Taxi cab for a living does this Mean cabs are shut down now too?

      • Probably not; you’re engaged in transit, and, if they shut that down, it would include all public transportation.
        But it looks to me like these rules are being made as they go. This is a shotgun approach to controlling the problem instead of a focused one, which would involve testing everyone and allowing those who are covid negative to continue on with their lives and quarantining those who test positive, which is what the South Koreans did.
        Until we have an adequate number of tests, that’s not gonna happen.

    • Thanks for the links Lance, it’s too bad that we as a whole can’t be bothered with such things as personal responsibility. Obviously we are in a different situation than South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan politically and demographically speaking, just like we are in a different situation than all the hard hit European countries and their single payer government provided healthcare that have all completely failed. This is a worldwide pandemic that is affecting all of the various areas of the world differently for countless reasons and it is far to early to decide what is definitively working and what isn’t.

    • Lance you’re simply wrong.

    • Yep, and the scan everyone at ports of entry and big buildings to see if people are 98.6F or more, and if they are, they are pulled aside for more evaluation. If they are deemed ill, they can’t fly or travel. It works very well for them. Here people want to use a higher number and think it is illegal; it isn’t.

  • It’s COVID-19, not “Wuhan coronavirus”.

    • Thank you

    • Kung-flu.
      China virus.

      Why are you listening to the liars at the WHO that carried water for the Chinese who covered up the severity of this bug just like they did SARS? Are people supposed to be impressed with the virtue signalling?

    • It is the CCP virus Warren

  • I get that we are in the middle of a media created pandemic. I also understand that we all must be considerate of others and take reasonable precautions to avoid the higher risk folks, including my relatives, from catching the beer flu. However, these restrictions (AKA marshal law), are way over the top for a supposed free society. I’m not in any way knocking the governor because there does seem to be a lack folks with common sense and basic respect for their fellow Alaskans running around out there.

    • This is not what is considered martial law so please don’t attempt to frighten or panic people. And it is martial not marshal, and I am not being snooty about it. Have a good evening and stay safe 🙂

      • Thanks for catching the spelling error. That aside,
        I would contend that we are in fact under a mild variant of martial law. I’m not trying to cause panic but rather push my point that we are being controlled to levels that very few if any have seen in their lifetimes. I’m not making a case for or against it other than to point out my observations that many folks didn’t take the recommendations for social distancing and modified cleansing protocols seriously. Have a great weekend stay safe.

      • Tami,
        We are very well inside the vestibule of “martial law”.
        Limiting the movement of healthy Americans is unprecedented in the history of our country.
        Every patriot accross this state needs to stand up and say no, this is not right for our society.
        The infection rate may be high, but the mortality rate is not (unless you are already sick in some way).
        History has shown us that authoritarian regimes often start out slowly and then advance at an alarming rate.
        Most people recover in around a week from COVID 19 yet our economy and National debt will be effected for many years to come.

        • Actually it is. The Chicago fire, battle of new Orleans, civil riots, etc. Now hold onto your panties Steve……..martial law is coming. The million man army of the reserves and national guard are going to seal off the hot zones so we can open up the rest of the country. Escape from new york 2.0 Might postpone elections if it lasts that long.

        • “The infection rate may be high, but the mortality rate is not (unless you are already sick in some way).”
          Well that is not what Dr. Fauci just said on National television. I am sure that you are aware of whom he is.
          Second, I am and never will be a Patriot. So I don’t really appreciate the insult.
          “History has shown us that authoritarian regimes often start out slowly and then advance at an alarming rate.”…….I assume that you speak of this presidency?
          Stay home. Stay Safe, and God Bless you.

        • You might want to run out the clock before you tell anyone what the mortality rate is, this ain’t over.

    • Fairly well stated, personally I wouldn’t have called it beer flu. We are in this and it is happening all around the world. It would be great if we as a supposedly free people could have been responsible enough to do what was needed, but we didn’t. As Lance pointed out above personal responsibility goes a long way.

  • So who’s making the new rules that ocs has to comply with. I have 5 kids that need to see me. My child and I have been separated now for two weeks. Non of us are sick. My foster worker is also my family so who’s making the rules here?

    • Unfortunately, not being sick doesn’t mean you are carrying the virus nor does it mean that you or other contacts are not contagious. The reason this thing is spreading so rapidly is that people can show no symptoms for two weeks and still spread it. With a flu people tend to stay home because they don’t feel well which slows the spread.

      • Doesn’t mean you are NOT carrying the virus.

  • Until the numbers go down and people start responding to the suggestions, and now mandates we will continue to see further restrictions. These mandates are for those in our populace who do not have common sense. This disease is not exceptionally deadly to the general population, but it is easily transmitted.
    As more people come down with this disease and die from it the harsher the mandates will become, this should be common sense but apparently is not.
    We should all be paying particular attention to the fact that the current testing results are about a week behind. Remember a week ago when people were still allowed to fly into the state without quarantine. It’s only been four days since we instituted a 14 day out of state quarantine…4 days, it seems like it was weeks ago.
    These restrictions are steps and the confirmed cases and deaths from covid are what drives the next step.

    • Agreed, Steve-O.

      Part of the disconnect I believe is related to these three aspects:

      1. Every community has a certain number of hospital beds both in existence currently and that can be made available for an emergency event. They have an even fewer number of ventilators. Each community has a unique capacity, wether it’s Fairbanks or Anchorage in Alaska, or Florence or Calgary in Italy.
      2. Roughly 10% of the number infected, need hospitalization and 10% of those will need ventilators.
      3. Our health care workers are not only growing exhausted by the increase work load, their exposure rate is much higher than others in society. When one of them becomes infected, the impact of losing them for 2-3 weeks is highly significant to the rest of the medical community.
      These three factors are the rate limiting steps, if you will, for successfully handling the load of patients needing medical treatment. Two of them are fixed (beds and ventilators), but the loss of healthcare workers due to infection, is not. This single moving variable has the ability to cripple our medical response needs.

      From the standpoint of our communities, each location has its unique variables tied to population density, timing of federal and local mandates and the compliance of individuals.

      There are crucial thresholds of numbers of infected individuals which we do not want to reach, if at all possible, simply because the cascading affect will not be able to be mitigated. Currently, in Alaska, the number of test-positive cases is said to be 85. This is not, of course the number infected, which is estimated to be much higher.

      People must realize that medical staff all over the world train for mass-emergency events regularly, for good reason. One part of that training involves having large numbers of people in need of imminent life-saving care simultaneously that exceeds the ability of the emergency staff and/or equipment available. This must be one of the most difficult positions for medical staff, for they must choose who is most likely to survive, given the assistance, and treat them only.
      This is what we are trying to avoid.

      COVID19 is significantly more contagious (easily transmitted) than the common flu, a fact that seems to escape some of us. It’s really just a numbers game, but we must acknowledge all the variables that come into play if we are going to have a relatively successful outcome. My feeling is that prudence is wise.

  • If only there was a campaign to recall this RHINO governor…..

    • You’re the only one calling him that. Bozo!

  • Fear Porn used to issue tyrannical orders that suspends the Constitution. The Governor has became a Communist Dictator.

  • Anchorage: 43
    Girdwood: 1
    Fairbanks/North Pole/Interior: 19
    Mat/Su: 2
    Ketchikan: 12
    Juneau: 4
    Kenai Peninsula communities: 5


  • Mike needs to stop listening to these bureaucrats. All they want is more control so they can grow their little empires. Just say no Gov! It’s un-Alaskan and un-American to order us all what to do all day. Educate and inform, fine, but stop it with these draconian “orders” that only law abiding folks will follow.

    A travel ban should be evaluated daily, not just initiated for a month. We worked hard to get you in there Mike. Give us some credit. Don’t listen to these self proclaimed experts and control freaks who want to control our lives.

    • So you go down educated and informed and get your pizza and your latte and get you and everyone else sick and kill thousands and destroy billions of dollars in the process of being “Alaskan” and “American”. Yeehaw!


      Pandemics and quarantines predate Alaska and America and not because of bureaucracy.

  • Doesn’t make much sense to ban interstate travel but still urge Alaskans who are out of state to come home immediately.

    • Not to mention our airport screening consists of nothing more than asking questions, which of course is leaving open the chance that people are being dishonest in their attempts to get around. Or the more likely scenario, Do you feel well? Sure. I’m only asymptomatic, I can spread disease but I can’t tell I’m sick because nobody is testing, they aren’t even scanning for temperatures.

  • I too am affected by Big Mike’s travel restrictions since I am working hundreds of air miles away from my residence. I however fully support the Guv’s actions and would point out that they still are mostly voluntary. Many communities across Alaska have also enacted mandatory quarantines. Some may think that these actions are overreaching and totalitarian and a precursor to dictatorial control. I disagree, Quarantines are older than our Constitution and our Countries founding. Patriots like John and Samuel Adams experienced similar events in Boston during their lifetimes and in my memory I cannot recall either of these verbose Founding Fathers citing such orders as tyrannical. Just saying…

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