New mandate: All coming into Alaska must quarantine - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020
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New mandate: All coming into Alaska must quarantine

14 DAYS OF TRYING TO ARREST AN INVISIBLE STOWAWAY

In a press conference that was brutally honest with Alaskans, the Dunleavy Administration today announced the most stringent mandates yet, similar to those imposed in Hawaii:

All travelers coming into Alaska must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They’ll need to go directly from their airport to the place where they’ll be quarantined, and that information will be collected from them as they arrive. The order takes effect March 25 and the State will reevaluate this mandate on April 21.

[Read the quarantine mandate and associated exceptions here]

The Administration has not determined yet how it will collect that information from people arriving by boat or road, but most are arriving by air, said Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.

There are now 36 known cases of coronavirus in Alaska, four more since yesterday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said that the state now believes that four of the 36 cases are of “community spread,” which means they have no known connection to travel, although the four new cases today are travel related and are in Anchorage.

In another health mandate, the strong advisory to remain six feet apart from people outside one’s direct family unit is now a mandate. No gatherings of 10 persons or more are permitted, and any gatherings must maintain the six-foot rule.

[Read the personal services and distancing mandate here]

In addition, all personal care businesses, such as salons, massage services, tattoo businesses and tanning salons are being temporarily closed across the state, said Commissioner Adam Crum. In some communities, this order has already been in effect because of the number of cases of the virus.

The governor said that the state is trying to focus on what can be done in the next couple of weeks, and he acknowledged that the economy won’t work if people can’t get to work. He thanked health care providers, public safety officers, and State workers who continue to work through the crisis, although many State workers are now working from home.

Dunleavy acknowledged that many Alaskans will end up getting the virus, many will get sick, some will get very sick, and he said some Alaskans may even die from it.

“This will be a challenge, but I don’t want Alaskans being afraid,” he said. “We shouldn’t be afraid, but we should be concerned. We should change our behaviors. It will help slow this virus down.”

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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

  • We were given a choice as a free people, some listened others not so much. Now there is a penalty of $25,000, up to one year in prison, or both for doing what we could and should have been done if we cared for our fellow man (or woman).

  • Do they not get all of our flights originate from out the State of Alaska? So what is the point? These people are getting on flights contaminating everyone and everything around them. They stop at numerous stops where people are getting on and off. Surely they are not this oblivious to this reality?

  • With all due respect, Governor, your right hand doesn’t know what your left hand is doing. Change your most recent Travel Alert. Do not urge Alaskans who are out of state to return home! If they can shelter in place urge them to do that instead! Do not take the chance of more COVID-19 cases making their way to Alaska. Please, use common sense!

    • Indeed, that’s what I’m going to do, no sense in leaving an area that’s pretty unaffected to rush home to AK today if I can work remotely. I made that decision a week ago and now may have to extend plans until April 21. Oh well, short of the immediate expenses it is what it is – at least the cost of sitting home is pretty benign.

  • It is way overdue. What took so long? Alaska’s economy could be better if this was done months ago.

  • To the extent that the Berkowitz edicts conflict with those issued by the State, they are preempted. That said, I am on record that the Berkowitz rules are without an adequate foundation and invalid as a matter of law. No court, even an Alaskan court, would permit punitive enforcement of the Berkowitz rules.

  • I see constitutional issues here. This is blanket imprisonment of individuals who have broken no law. Their only misdeed is to have come to Alaska.
    If someone tests positive for Coronavirus, that’s a different story. Then you have cause.
    This edict is one step away from the governor demanding everyone stay imprisoned in his or her home for a specified amount of time. It is a simpleminded, shotgun approach to a problem the governor, as yet, has no viable plan for solving.

    • Greg,

      Just out of curiosity, what’s your take on the draft, you know where they randomly chose men to be shipped over seas to fight in war and die for our country?

      • I don’t see a corollary here. What is the connection between the draft and imprisonment without cause?
        But, FYI, I prefer not to sit where there’s a draft.

        • Greg,

          What constitutional issues do you see? If it’s that people are being deprived of their freedom, how do you think that could relate to say the draft, you know where they randomly chose men to be shipped over seas to fight in war and die for our country?

          • Constitutional issue: Imprisonment without due process. If you are, in effect, being held in house arrest, this should not be happening due to the constitutional ban on imprisonment without due process, i.e. trial or its alternatives.
            Not that I think this will fly. The SCOTUS gives states a lot of leeway when it comes to protecting the health and welfare of their residents, but the potential still exists that this could be challenged.
            This has nothing to do with the draft, which is moribund at this point.

          • Greg,

            Nobody is being imprisoned against their consent and without due process. Just saying stuff because you disagree with the governor for political reasons makes no sense in a time like this. If you have actual constitutional concerns then bring them forward…what you have now is nothing more than political gripes with absolutely no constitutional foundation.

    • GREGG R

      Please tell us your plan.

      • Test everyone who comes into the state. If they test positive, they get a 14 day quarantine. If they test negative, they get to go.

  • Too late, The airlines, of which nearly every plane that comes to Alaska goes through Seattle (near the epicenter of the US outbreak), had already seeded the state.
    The air travel should have stopped or a quarantine implemented long ago.

  • Quit allowing people to come into this state. This is going get way worse before it even starts to improve. If you don’t live here, then stay out and that should go with all the other states. Because not everyone is willing to self-quarantine and it’s just not worth my family’s lives.

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