Dunleavy: Travel quarantine can be avoided by pre-travel test for COVID-19 - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, August 3, 2020
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Dunleavy: Travel quarantine can be avoided by pre-travel test for COVID-19

Travelers to Alaska can take a test for COVID-19 before they come to Alaska, and if they have are cleared by the test as much as 72 hours before travel, they won’t need to self-quarantine for 14 days when they come to Alaska. The change was announced by the governor today during his evening press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rule will take place on June 5.

The travel restrictions appear to apply mainly to air travel at this time. Contracted workers will greet planes coming into Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Wrangell/Petersburg, to ensure they are observing the protocols. These workers will take a look at testing paperwork for those arriving.

The travel quarantine that has been in effect, where incoming travelers must self-isolate for 14 days, has been extended to June 5. The order was originally set to expire June 2.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said that the low number of cases of COVID-19 in the state was in large part because of the state quarantine mandate. The details of the new mandate for incoming travelers are being worked out, he said.

Dunleavy said he is encouraging all travelers coming to Alaska get tested in the 72 hours before they board a plane and have their test results with them when they travel into the state.

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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

  • Ed,

    Which constitutional rights have you been deprived of? I’ve asked you this numerous times and you have yet to respond. Typical liberal nonsense, if you can’t be bothered to say which of your rights have been infringed upon then obviously it doesn’t mean that much to you.
    .
    By the way, the state you are hiding out in also has a 14 day quarantine in place.

    • Maybe the 14th amendment.
      Based on the Fourteenth Amendment’s liberty protection, the Supreme Court has also recognized certain fundamental rights that aren’t specifically mentioned in the Constitution or its amendments but are an inherent part of liberty and are deeply rooted in this country’s tradition and history. Examples of these inherent rights include the right to marry and parent your children, freedom of association, privacy rights, and the right to travel between states.

      • Jacobson v. Massachusetts holds that “in every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand” and that “[r]eal liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.” This case has been cited in numerous other Supreme Court cases and was recently cited to uphold abortion bans during the covid lockdown in April.

        • Here are a couple more notable quotes from the Jacobson decision.
          .
          “the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”
          .
          “The possession and enjoyment of all rights are subject to such reasonable conditions as may be deemed by the governing authority of the country essential to the safety, health, peace, good order, and morals of the community. Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one’s own will. It is only freedom from restraint under conditions essential to the equal enjoyment of the same right by others. It is, then, liberty regulated by law.”
          .
          “it is equally true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand. An American citizen arriving at an American port on a vessel in which, during the voyage, there had been cases of yellow fever or Asiatic cholera, he, although apparently free from disease himself, may yet, in some circumstances, be held in quarantine against his will on board of such vessel or in a quarantine station, until it be ascertained by inspection, conducted with due diligence, that the danger of the spread of the disease among the community at large has disappeared.”
          .
          “We are unwilling to hold it to be an element in the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States that one person, or a minority of persons, residing in any community and enjoying the benefits of its local government, should have the power thus to dominate the majority when supported in their action by the authority of the state.”

        • Ed,
          The legislature passed legislation that granted the Governor the ability to deal with this pandemic. You probably missed that since you don’t live here, or even know which rights you’ve been deprived of.
          Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it unreasonable.

        • Ed,

          The Legislature passed legislation that allows the Governor the ability to respond to this pandemic in March. You probably missed it since you don’t live here.
          .
          Also just because you may think something is unreasonable does not make it so.

    • Stop insulting everyone. Such a piddling man. No rights have been taken away. I asked you where you were when they required shirts and shoes to enter businesses. Seatbelts, speed limits. You failed to respond. I just watched the launch of Americas into space from America. Don’t make me come back up there. Play nice.

    • So then you can’t name a single right that you have been deprived of, not a single one Ed? Should be pretty easy if you keep ranting about them being taken away from you. Name one right you’ve been deprived of Ed…one.

      • Ed,

        It’s sad, pathetic really, that you can’t name one single right that you claim to have been deprived of. Just pick one and go with it, there are 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights and 27 total.
        .
        You call me a “Kool Aid Drinker”, Ed you don’t even have a clue what rights you have or which ones you have lost. Wake up Ed, wake up.

    • The 4th Amendment for those that have never actually read it:

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      • Who is violating your 4th Amendment Rights and how exactly are they doing it? I haven’t heard of anyone in Alaska having their doors kicked in and being tested for covid. I certainly haven’t had anyone violate my 4th Amendment Rights and if I did I would be locked up and put in front of a judge before I surrendered that right.

  • Quarantine can be avoided by not complying with illegal and unconstitutional mandates. And Dear Governor it takes a court order to force a test, and you also lack the authority to regulate interstate commerce. RINO Dunleavy needs to go!

  • So Ed, does this mean you are signing the recall and joining the Lefties?

    • Ed, it is fellows such as yourself who don’t see the big picture. Dunleavy is getting shackled by the Lefties and then ridiculed by you, who want their cake and to eat it too. No one is stripping you of your constitutional rights. But if you feel more secure with a Leftist Democrat at the helm of state government, then you really are dumb.

  • Seems like if you got tested within 72 hours of getting here, and tested negative, wouldn’t that be better than testing before you go? Couldn’t you get it on the way? I mean, theoretically, anyhow…because In reality the data shows you more than likely will get it at home, if you get it, more than anywhere.. especially if your home is a nursing home.. but all that aside, wouldn’t it be better to know if they have it when they get here?

    • I misread it so it looks like they offer the test when you get here. That makes sense to me.

        • My sister plans to visit Alaska in mid-June. Test results in her state take 72 hours or longer. So when she tests 72 hours before boarding her flight it is doubtful she will have the results when she lands in Anchorage. So if I understand correctly, she would then be tested at the airport. Then what will she be told because I doubt they’ll immediate results? Will she be allowed to travel to where I live outside Anchorage and self isolate until she gets those results?

          • I just called the AK Covid 211 line. The very helpful person said if the traveler doesn’t have the test results when they land, they will need to quarantine at their final destination until they get the results. He stated there is no reporting requirements after that and it is based on the honor system.

        • The problem with that is here in Arizona (and probably a lot of states) it takes 4-5 days to get test results so many people coming from the lower 48 won’t be able to meet the required 72 hour criteria because the results will be over 5 days old. It also doesn’t say how long test results take if you choose to get your test done upon landing. You also have to self-quarantine while you wait for results. Would I be waiting 4-5 days in self quarantine with no access to restaurants for food while I wait it out? The mandate states that visitors must quarantine and avoid minimum exposure to restaurants, etc. This is NOT going to be a viable alternative for most tourists who want to visit. I’m trying to come for a funeral at the end of June and there is not enough information being provided to make plans. Any ideas on who I can contact about the time frame for getting COVID-19 test results once I land?

  • Since most visitors are either able to quarantine while working in a “ critical “ industry or ignoring the quarantine restriction entirely ((remember the quarantine is not being enforced at all) I think that requiring testing , if enforced, will
    do more to discourage visitors than the quarantine. But there are bigger questions.
    What is the State going to do when a person comes up on a one way ticket and has not been tested? Pay for their ticket back, arrest them, Put them
    In custody? Physically force them to get tested? I doubt it!
    How long will the public put up with governmental agencies taking away the people’s constitutional rights without due process?
    When this is behind all of us we might well see that all the money spent which incentivized people to not work will put some societies over the edge into socialism. And more importantly that we will have lost many civil liberties with little resistance.

  • When I return from the lower 48 in a couple week, I will refuse the Dunleavy virus test and opt for the 14 day quarantine. I’m sure I will be pressured at the airport for the test….but the heck with Dunleavy’s Socialist engineering.

  • We are a family of five who have been quarantining at home in our state due to our own state mandates. Unfortunately, we are having to cancel our two week tripped planned to Alaska for late June because we are not able to get tested to meet the entry requirements into Alaska. It is near impossible to get tested within the 72 hour time frame and ensure you are able to receive results. Also, children under the age of 18 are not able to get tested at drive through facilities. Although I totally understand the precautions they are not as easily attainable as one may think. I feel this mandate is going to further hinder interstate travel, not facilitate it.

    • Drive up. Oh wait, Canada won’t let you. Better call the mounties and complain.

    • That would be my issue, Dunleavy says that like tests are available anywhere, anytime but that’s not the case, right?

      • In Michigan you have to meet criteria to be able to be tested and travelling is not one of them. Drive through testing facilities only allow testing for people eighteen years or older which also presents problems. I have been trying to figure out how we could be tested in the time frame necessary to still travel but haven’t been successful yet.

  • What the???. I see this as great news for travelers, where else can you go without the 14 day lock up? There’s ‘Karens’ everywhere spying on visitors and reporting them etc.. all over the news. Some adjustments will be needed.

  • We also live out of state & have followed our state’s shelter in place orders. We have a home in Alaska and in order to visit our home, have to take a test for which we do not meet testing criteria. In the event we can find somewhere that allows us to be tested, there is no way we can get results within the 72 hr window of landing in Alaska. We have already cancelled two trips to Alaska and are cancelling most of our visitors trips to our home there. We pay taxes in Alaska, support numerous charities in Alaska, and purchase (with our visitors) weeks of fishing charters in Alaska. The testing option is a mirage as it is not feasible for residents of the lower 48. For most visitors a two week quarantine is also not feasible. I do feel our rights to travel freely have been violated. Instead of quarantine or test requirements, why not have visitors have a thermal scan & sign a declaration they have no COVID19 symptoms? By protecting Alaskans from a virus that will get there anyway, the administration is guaranteeing to damage the Alaskan economy.

  • Where are you suppose to go to get tested prior to traveling to Alaska? Testing places won’t just test you because you want to travel. You have to have symptoms. So I guess we are suppose to lie and say we have symptoms to be tested? And if we get tested at your airport, is it the rapid test? Where will we have to wait to get our results? Most covid tests take up to 72 hrs for results. So if I get tested, lets say 100 hrs prior to my flight leaving, to make sure my results are in hand before boarding, will the results still be valid once I get there, even though my test was prior to 72 hrs? Someone didn’t think this through.

  • Two problems with this poorly thought-out approach. First, most tests take more than 72 hours to post a result, and those that are quicker are less accurate. Second is the issue of false positives, i.e. result showing you have COVID 19 when in fact you don’t. For example, if a test shows a false positive only 5% of the time (some of the rapid ones are worse) and one person out of every one hundred who travels to Alaska (a very high number) actually has COVID 19, then 5 out of every 6 people flagged and detained at the Alaska airport will have been wrongly selected.
    I am planning a fishing trip for myself and three family members including two teenagers. If any one of us gets flagged as positive at an Alaska airport, the trip will be for naught. Using the same 5% number as above there is a 19% chance that at least one person in our group will have a false positive and ruin the trip. Better to cancel before we go.
    Hoping for a more sensible plan and details soon.

  • So assuming I can get a COVID test and results within 72hrs, which test are acceptable? If I can’t get the test and results before I get to Alaska how long will the test in the airport take for results?
    Oh yeah …and will I have to pay for it in the airport? This doesn’t seem to be very well planned out. Or maybe they have a whole bunch of test they need to get rid of and their contractors need to make a buck? State sponsored tourist trap? I just want to get away from everyone and catch some fish. The less people I’m around the better.

  • How do we possibly get tested within the 72 hour window and get our results back in time to fly? It takes four days to get results? This is also a violation of our 4th Amendment, guaranteeing free travel between states, as well as equal treatment and rights between visitors and citizens of the states.

  • Im hopeful that the comments made here will send a message to the Governor of Alaska. This newest rule is an unrealistic request. All of the Airlines do a temperature check before boarding any flight and are denied boarding if a passenger has a temp of 100 or higher. I work for a Major Airline so I know this to be a fact.If a passenger has a fever then they meet the Criteria to be allowed for a test. U must have symptoms to get tested. So wake up and change this ridiculous request or or watch you economy collapse.

  • I’m trying to visit a friend in Alaska June 19th – 25th. I can get a COVID-19 test before I leave, but we don’t have the short, fast tests. I can’t get answers for around 3 days. My doctor wants to test me Monday to be sure I have them before I leave in the morning on Friday, but that is beyond your 72 hr mandate. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. They say there will be tests there, but my trip has already been cut short. If I have to spend a day in quarantine when I already got the damn test, I’m just not going (which isn’t an easy thing to do, because I’ve been looking forward to this trip since November).

    I’m trying to work with you – please work with me too. Not all states or all doctors have access to fast results.

  • Update: I was able to get a COVID test scheduled within the 72 hr. timeframe and expected results within 24hrs. I arrive next week. Thankfully, my insurance is taking care of it at no cost!
    I certainly don’t agree with AK policy and it is an undue burden on interstate travel rights, but I really want to get up there and fish. I usually bring back enough fish to eat all year with this trip.
    If this helps me navigate through the bureaucracy then I’ll jump through this hoop. It doesn’t mean I have to like it though.
    Good luck to everyone else it this situation.

  • We have had a trip planned for the end of July for nearly a year now. I have already been tested once as negative for a precaution of starting asthma/COPD medication. My insurance company will not pay for a second test. In Nebraska you can only get tested if you are showing symptoms (either have to have a Drs order or go thru the State’s questionnaire). Unfortunately, we are looking at canceling our entire trip to Alaska and will have to take our trip somewhere else in the lower 48 where they will be happy to take our money. Rescheduling will not be an option for us. I’m sorry the Alaska governor has decided that tourism is not needed this year. I feel sorry for the businesses that are losing money.

  • The Alaska.gov COVID19 FAQ now posts that even if you travel to AK with a negative COVID19 test within the 72 hr window, you are required to be tested AGAIN in 7-10 days!

    • I read on Alaska.Gov faq’s: if someone on your flight, sitting by you tests positive upon arrival you have to test any quarantine for 14 days!!

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