Anchorage turns to Nixle to send COVID alarm message



The Municipality of Anchorage is using the Nixle technology platform in a novel way, one that some say is “nanny state” activity.

According to Nixle, text messages from the Municipality and police are for matters of great urgency, such as missing persons, walk-aways from halfway houses, and active crime scenes to avoid. The platform uses email messages for non-urgent messages, according to Nixle’s own terms of use and descriptions.

Now, the Muni appears to be using Nixle to promote panic over COVID-19.

In an “Alert” sent by the Office of Emergency Management, Nixle recipients were warned in the headline, “COVID-19 has killed 210,494 Americans. Cases are surging. COVID-19 could affect you. Take action now to save lives.”

Nixle is a tool that official government agencies sign up for and community members may also sign up for. It’s a way to get emergency information out to people via text messages. But it has rules about use of text messages — they are for urgent notifications.

COVID-19 must be that bad, because hundreds of Nixle users were advised today — via text message, not email — that “GATHERINGS ARE NOT SAFE.”

COVID-19 has killed 210,494 Americans including 36 Anchorage residents. Cases are surging. COVID-19 could affect you.

But it doesn’t have to happen. Together, we must stop COVID-19 with simple steps and smart choices.
• Avoid social gatherings, especially indoors. GATHERINGS ARE NOT SAFE.
• Stay home except for essential trips.
• Feeling even mild symptoms? Get tested. Stay home.
• Wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet from others outside your household.

Not all Nixle users were impressed. Several contacted Must Read Alaska and asked if this means Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is readying another round of shutdowns.

“You’ve got to be joking. This is ridiculous to say the least,” wrote one respondent.

“Wow! More fear mongering! Who approved this? To scare people away from going to the polls? This is ridiculous,” wrote another.

“Berki, you are a joke. Stop the insanity,” and “Wow, politicization at its finest. I will be unsubscribing from Nixle now that it’s a part of the Berkowitz propaganda machine,” were two other comments.


  1. How long before Anchorage is nothing but a bunch of kids when more than 100 people a day are getting sick and now the flu is coming? Need a hospital bed for surgery? A heart attack? Cancer treatment? Car accident? Forget it. They’re full of covid-19 patients!!

    • There are 127 ICU beds occupied and 33 people hospitalized for Covid as of noon today. The ADN didn’t say how many of those 33 people are in ICU beds. ICU beds are not getting even close to being overwhelmed with Covid cases, although over 50% of the beds are occupied, most by other medical issues.

    • You’re delusional. Alaska’s numbers show a higher than 99% recovery rate for those who test positive.

    • I am amazed daily at how people succumb to this political sabotage to their lives so willingly.
      Over 250,000 people die and have died for years from medical errors. Where is the panic and outrage for this? Now with Covid police and non-allowance of any patient advocate for any condition when a loved one is hospitalized how many more are dying with no one to advocate or be a watch dog over their care?
      This is just one travesty associated with Covid and the list goes on.
      Talk about science and numbers. In Alaska alone the numbers are this.
      Percentage or likelihood in the total population you will test positive: 1.3%
      Of those testing positive who will be hospitalized: .6%
      % of those tested actually testing positive: 2%
      These numbers are low people!!
      Look at any prescribed medication and the horrible side effects and risk of death. They fall within these numbers and your doctor considers them perfectly safe to prescribe for you!
      I am not saying the virus is not serious. It is. But life must go on and these types of scare tactics must stop. You’re –we’re, being manipulated.
      Perspective. Let’s get some before we destroy our lives and our country.

  2. In Juneau our wonderful “news”paper the Juneau Empire (owned by a leftwing millionaire in British Columbia) is touting that we’re having record numbers of new cases. They recently did an interview with a gentleman who had the virus in March or April (with many underlying conditions, they also had to go that far back to find anyone who actually got sick) and had him retell his terrible tale with COVID. Yup, the fear mongering is in full swing. Round 2 coming up.

  3. Did the Mayor of Anchorage demand this NIXLE Alert interfere with today’s local elections?
    If he did has he broke the law again by interfering with the elections. Why was this NIXLE Alert not sent out
    earlier like last week, last month, or in the spring?
    I say election tempering

  4. The government can’t suppress an epidemic out of existence. It doesn’t work here, it doesn’t work in Europe where the dreaded Trump has no power and they’re doing lockdowns.

    Sweden let people use their own judgment to protect themselves and had a big surge of deaths of old people in April. Now there are no deaths from coronavirus in Sweden. 0. But I’m sure Berkowitz will panic and announce another job and business-killing lockdown that can’t be sustained. And when it’s lifted, the cycle will begin again. It can’t be controlled. Let it run its course. End the madness.

  5. Infection rate topped 5%, panic and lockdowns are not indicated but reminders for folks with increases risk factors are appreciated. 2 months ago I posted on FaceBook the University of Washington predictions of a death a day by October. First week of October saw 8 deaths. We can do better.

  6. Suzanne, often I am replying to a particular comment, like here my thumbs up was a reply to a particular comment and should have shown up under the comment “They all work for the Mayor”, but the thumbs up shows at the bottom of the comment section instead. Other than hitting the reply under a particular comment, is there something else I should be doing?

    • I will look into it, Katie. I don’t watch the user functionality of it as I am approving comments from the admin. area, but I’ll go investigate. Thanks for letting me know. -sd

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