Now, a dozen COVID cases



Gov. Mike Dunleavy said that with three new cases identified today, there are 12 cases of COVID-19 virus identified in Alaska. With more and more testing being done, he said the public should expect more.

The first case of COVID in Alaska was on March 11, and was a cargo pilot who developed symptoms enroute from Asia. Since then, more than one case per day has been identified in the state, and drive-through testing is occurring.

The two additional cases in Fairbanks occurred in adults in their 30s or 40s who had not traveled in the past 14 days. However, they may not be random cases, but people in known contact with earlier Fairbanks cases.

The case in Ketchikan is also not considered community transmission.

At this time, there are no hospitalized COVID patients in Alaska. All of the patients are staying at home and being monitored, said Dr. Anne Zink. The JBER patient is also self-quarantined in his home. They are all doing well, she said.


Dunleavy spoke to the economic distress that Alaska is experiencing, and said SBA loans would soon be available that could release up to $2 million for individual businesses. Other state funds for bridge loans may be made available more quickly, he said, the details of which are being worked out.

He acknowledged that this is a government-induced crisis impacting businesses and it’s not the fault of the businesses, but the result of a health emergency that required government to close down restaurants, bars, gyms, and myriad other facilities to slow the spread of the virus, which typically takes a drastic toll on the elderly.


The governor also spoke briefly about the border closing with Canada. Four border crossings — Hyder, Haines, Skagway and Tok — will not be closed at this time. The border closures are to prevent people traveling for leisure, not to prevent people from their usual business travel.


New mandates were ordered by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink today: They include no optional dentistry and no optional medical procedures being conducted in the state at this time. The medical community needs to preserve surgical masks and protective gear for emergency situations; shortages of these protective items are now widespread in the Lower 48. The elective procedure order is as follows:

Mandate 5.1 – Elective Procedures

All patients, providers, hospitals and surgical centers are required to postpone or cancel all non-urgent or elective procedures for three months to decrease the overall impact on the Alaska health care structure and preserve personal protective equipment. This would include pre-scheduled surgeries deemed non-essential. This mandate does not apply to surgical cases coming through the emergency room or for an existing hospitalized patient.

Because the terms “non-urgent or elective” are not fully defined, the state recommends each hospital creates a physician task force that would be available to evaluate on a case-by-case basis and make a determination on borderline surgeries. This action is taken with the guidance from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the American College of Surgeons: and

The moratorium on non-emergency dentistry is as follows:

Mandate 6.1 – Elective Oral Health Procedures

Dental clinical settings and oral health professionals are recognized within the highest risk categories for both transmission and contraction of the coronavirus, as most dental procedures release significant aerosols in the operatory atmosphere. Therefore, in concurrence with recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA), the Alaska Dental Society, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, elective oral health care procedures are required to be postponed for a period of one month. 

Alaska oral health professionals should be aware:

  • There is a growing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care facilities as response to COVID-19 continues. Please closely monitor supplies of PPE.
  • There is a high risk of disease in individuals over 60 years of age and individuals with underlying or chronic health conditions. 

Recommended actions:

  • Postpone all elective and non-essential dental procedures.
  • Prioritize treatment for patients experiencing dental emergencies, here defined by the ADA as ‘Health care related to relief of severe dental/oral pain and infection management’.
  • To help decrease the overburden of emergency rooms and urgent care facilities as COVID-19 response rapidly increases, oral health practitioners are encouraged to provide emergency dental care through patients’ regular dental home, including after-hours where possible, except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.
  • Limit orders and use of PPE to the minimum necessary for emergency care.


Gov. Dunleavy reiterated his support for paying back the portions of the Permanent Fund dividends kept from Alaskans over the past four years.

“I can’t think of a time in the past four years that people would have needed cash in their hands than they do now,” he said. He urged the Legislature to pay back the PFDs.

“Right now what people need is cash in their hands. I’m hoping the Legislature moves on this sooner, rather than later.


    • You aren’t going to need a PFD when what you really need is a bed, a vent, and a nurse.


      Your one issue might just kill you.

    • Ironically, as the governor prepares to spend large amounts of money he doesn’t have, he is saying Alaskans need cash payments. This makes no sense, but that should come as no surprise to those who have followed Dunleavy’s senseless career.
      1) The state needs money to spend to battle the corona virus. True.
      2) People need cash now more than ever because of the corona virus. Debatable, some may need it, some may not.
      3)Ergo: Let’s give money the state doesn’t have to people who may or may not need it, or, if the state has the money (you will notice that Dunleavy does not say where or when it is going, magically, to appear) perhaps it should be used to battle the corona virus instead of broadcasting it willy-nilly to the populace. Especially to those who do not need it. Is buying your next snow machine a better use of money than fighting the corona virus? Maybe for the guy who has a new snow machine but not for Gramma struggling to breathe on a ventilator.
      And we picked this guy to run our state? I’m sure his fans will say he’s doing exactly what he said he would do. PFD first, PFD last, PFD forever!

  1. A dozen cases in Alaska? Remember, about two weeks ago, the entire U.S. had “confirmed” only 4 cases? Now, over 13,000. With actual testing the numbers explode. China has mandated no new testing. Guess what. No new cases yesterday and today. Isn’t that strange. If the “reported” cases must be stopped to protect the party (communist), just stop testing and “presto”, no new cases. Convenient but hardly trustworthy. I’m glad our state and country is taking it more seriously than at the beginning. Buckle up Alaskans and Americans. The ride is just beginning for us. I hope that disastrous feeling in my gut is something I ate. The most comforting thing for me is to see our Governor and President in full stride to protect the citizens.

    • And with every positive test the mortality rate is dropping, this isn’t the deadly disease some are trying to make it. Yes, many will die but COVID has already save many from death by way of reducing flu deaths since people are now practicing basic hygiene.

      • Steve O,
        I agree with you on this.
        Suzanne wrote: “At this time, there are no hospitalized COVID patients in Alaska.”
        So far this has not been as severe as the CDC predicted.
        Many of the past WHO / CDC predictions have been wrong for pandemics in the past.
        It appears Italy was hit hardest since they had a large percentage of elderly smokers who have many underlying conditions.
        The best thing to do is to follow the guidelines for social distancing, hand washing and do not touch your face. (Many people touch their faces 3 to 4 times a minute throughout the day)
        Besides that, Alaskans should get out and enjoy the Spring sunshine and fresh air!

        • Steve,

          Check out this link it shows the worldwide covid infection and morality rates. Of particular note is that the US has 0.8 covid deaths per 1,000,000 South Korea has 2 covid deaths per 1,000,000 and Italy is at 66.7 covid deaths per 1,000,000. With the updated CDC numbers today in the US we are at a 1.3% mortality rate for confirmed cases and most experts believe that up to 86% of those infected are asymptomatic, so the true mortality rate is a fraction of that 1.3%.
          I’m with you on the social distancing and hand washing, those are the key to protecting ourselves and our fellow Alaskans. Man what a beautiful day today, sunny and warm snow is melting all over.

      • Ah, but it is the deadly disease medical professionals are telling you about.
        It can’t be repeated enough
        If you choose to ignore scientists, medical professionals, and epidemiologists and instead decide you are going to take your directions from, say, Rush Limbaugh, …simply put, …you’re not doing it right.

        • Nayem,

          Who do you imagine is ignoring the scientists, medical professionals, and epidemiologists? I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh apparently you do since you seem to know what he is saying.
          Your problem is the facts do not support your opinion. This disease is in it’s infancy and people like you who would drive a global panic have done so with little to no facts to support your political agenda. The more facts we gather the more apparent it becomes this disease doesn’t have the 3-4% mortality rate as advertised, it might even have a lower mortality rate than the flu. This isn’t the deadly disease you are trying to make it, sorry to disappoint you.
          What you need is facts, unfortunately you have none. Instead you are left talking about Rush Limbaugh for some reason known only to you.
          Wash your hands Nayem they dirty.

    • Trump in full stride to protect the citizens?
      Trump was briefed and his team was tested on a ‘modeled’ pandemic scenario as part of the standard transition protocols 7 days before taking office.
      n 2018, Trump fired his homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, whose portfolio included global pandemics. The next month, national security adviser John Bolton disbanded the NSC’s global health unit. Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, the top official in charge of a pandemic response was out. So was Luciana Borio, whose title was director for medical and biodefense preparedness.
      None of them were replaced.
      That meant Trump had no top advisers in the White House with expertise in global pandemics. The whole infrastructure was dismantled.
      In October of 2019, another pandemic was modeled, and Trump’s administration was tested on its response.
      They failed in all the areas we see happening in real time today when it’s not a test.
      After being briefed again and again, warned of the dangers, Trump downplayed any risk and denied there was any concern.
      That non-response was Trump in full stride.
      Accountability is a necessary part of governing, Trump is accountable for the lack of preparedness and the delay in responding. Never forget, never try to revise the history.

        • I sincerely hope every person here reads your link because it does not refute the facts. Did you read the whole thing or only the parts that reinforced your preconceptions?
          As the link says, eliminating the pandemic response group was a bad move, excusing the elimination by trying to say you ‘reorganized and filled the position with biodefense personnel isn’t apples to apples, it’s like the link says, you’ll end up sending a police car to a fire while the equipment necessary to fight a fire isn’t what a police car is for. It’s the wrong skillset to deal with a fire.
          People really need to stop denying realities, it’s killing people, and reacting too late isn’t going to bring the dead back.

      • Let’s suppose you are correct, it’s time to move on as this response in the US has thus far proven to be more successful than just about any other Nations response. The political hacks on the left have been claiming South Korea is the model we should be following, yet the US has 0.8 covid deaths per 1,000,000 South Korea has more than twice as many at 2 covid deaths per 1,000,000.
        You keep pushing your agenda, but your message has fallen flat as you have no facts to support it.
        “Politics aside, this is incredible and the right response in this critical time,” Rep. Ilhan Omar
        “the president is doing the right thing in offering to step up with New York and I appreciate it, and New York will do the right thing in return.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
        California Governor Gavin Newsom said it was a privilege to have a conversation with President Trump and said President Trump was “on top of it”

  2. Waited almost year for a dental implant while the bone graft was done. The dentist called me a few weeks ago saying they had to change my Tues appointment to Thursday. This Tues they called and said they had to cancel. Funny thing is I would think the best time would have been before this spread gets any worst not after. Dang it.

  3. Another thing. Why the hell are we the taxpayers going to be on the hook for all the lawsuits by the homeless packed into the Sully? One gets hurt and sues, or the family sues and all the others will suddenly get hurt and sue. Get the government out of homeless business. Nonprofits only.

    • Getting the government out of the ‘business’ of homelessness is precisely the reason the homeless problem has exploded across the country.

      Before Reagan’s time, we used to have a more adequate mental health system that kept many off the streets.

      Before deregulating drug companies, we didn’t have ‘pain clinics’ in every community handing out Oxy like it was no more dangerous than M&Ms.

      Before corporations were allowed to cut their workers hours down to a point where workers couldn’t make rent on their wages.

      Yeah, gut the government, and then whine because there are consequences to failed policies.

      Start a non-profit, Ted, you got the answer, …fix it all.

      • Nay,
        I think your anti-everything comments would be better suited to a liberal site. Your comments are nothing but vitriol. We can certainly do without your constant belittling of all things conservative and sane. See ya.

        • Stating facts is far different than being anti-everything.
          I am against what doesn’t produce the best outcome and closing mental facilities across the country won’t produce any kind of positive outcome.
          Nothing sane about putting people into the streets or jailing sick people instead of treating them because you have no alternative.

  4. ? The first 9 coronavirus cases in Alaska are travel related! If you traveled you might not feel sick but you might be contagious! Most businesses are requiring a 14 day quarantine at home. If not, Please Be responsible, follow the protocol and stay home for the 14 day quarantine safe zone process. All incoming flights from out of state should be intercepted at the Airport and all Passengers and Crew should be swab tested and required to self quarantine until the test results show negative . It’s not too late to stop this Wuhan Virus at our state borders. Alaska Strong!?

    • It is too late.


      Get the beds, vents and nurses ready.


      Anyone know when the Governor is going to start asking for volunteer medical staff and start calling up former and current ETTs, EMTs, Paramedics and Nurses and provide them training?

  5. I agree with the Governor there isn’t a time when the dividend money is more needed. Most of the people put out of work by closing restaurants and bars are minimum wage folks who live paycheck to paycheck. Two or three thousand bucks would be a lifesaver for them . We all need to contact our legislator and tell them to get their priorities straight.

    • He better start using any money he has to build out more beds and icu units, and ventilators.

      Plus he needs to buy more medical personnel protection supplies.

      That PFD in your pocket won’t be much use if you can’t breath.

  6. Here is an excellent time for our governor to get those back PFD checks from Walker era out to the PEOPLE. Giessel and her band of nitwits in the Legislature will look like Queen Antoinette of France. Let the little folks eat cake? So be it. Giessel’s head will look great on the bow of my fishing boat.

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