People traveling from the villages to Anchorage are picking up COVID-19 and taking it back to their villages. In a new set of travel guidance “orders,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy is giving off-road and off-ferry communities the authority to limit travel to their villages. There are exceptions for critical workforce individuals.
Dunleavy is also asking people if they travel to Anchorage or Fairbanks to get tested before they return to their villages, or if they go back without a test, to quarantine 14 days.
The rest of the orders are basically as they have been for many months — loosening regulations, increasing Telehealth, and allowing company board members to meet electronically.
Effective Nov. 16, the following COVID-19 Outbreak Health Orders are issued under the new disaster declaration that goes into effect as the previous disaster declaration expires at midnight, Nov. 15:
Order No. 1, Suspension of Regulations and Statutes, suspends certain regulations and statutes to allow agencies to best address the COVID-19 emergency.
Order No. 2, Telehealth & Courtesy Occupational Licenses, authorizes telemedicine, access to licensees from other jurisdictions, and flexibility to certain licensing boards.
Order No. 3, Virtual Meetings & Electronic Communications for Boards, allows business to be conducted virtually and via electronic communications for boards of corporations, non-profit, and ANCs.
Order No. 4, Non-Congregate Sheltering, provides FEMA reimbursement eligibility for temporary sheltering and quarantine.
Order No. 5, Critical Infrastructure, provides guidance for critical infrastructure workers in Alaska. Appendices with specific guidance for the following industries: commercial fishing, independent harvesters, and seafood processing plants.
Order No. 6, International & Interstate Travel, provides guidelines for residents and non-residents traveling into Alaska.
Order No. 7, Online Raffles & Prize Drawings, allows charitable gaming permittees to conduct raffles, lotteries and other contests online.
Order No. 8, Intrastate Travel, specifies the limitations on community restrictions, and that Critical Infrastructure must be allowed to travel into rural towns, but follow safety plans; defines critical personal needs for residents that need to leave communities; and implements a testing strategy and protocols for individuals traveling from road system communities to off-road system.
Intrastate Travel Guidance
COVID-19 Outbreak Health Order No. 8 provides guidance and requirements for travel between communities located off the Road System or the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS).
Beginning November 16, 2020 at 12:01am:
- Local communities are permitted to enact travel restrictions to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Beginning Nov. 21, 2020:
- Travelers in a community on the Road System or the AMHS for less than 72 hours are recommended to test for COVID-19 5 days after arrival at final destination and follow strict social distancing until negative results are received, or follow strict social distancing for 14 days at final destination if no test was taken.
- If a traveler is in a community on the Road System of the AMHS for greater than 72 hours, they should get a molecular COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to travel to a community off the Road System or the AMHS and should not commence travel until a negative test is received. If return travel cannot be delayed until the test result is available, the traveler must follow strict social distancing until they receive a negative result.
- Anyone who is currently infected with COVID-19 must not travel to a community off the Road System or AMHS until they are cleared from isolation by a medical professional.
- Asymptomatic people who have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days are exempt from travel testing.
Additional information on the new COVID-19 Outbreak Health Orders can be found here.
All COVID-19 Outbreak Health Orders can be found here.