State bringing in resources to meet COVID challenge - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, November 27, 2020
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State bringing in resources to meet COVID challenge

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are ramping up efforts to contain the spread of COVID-18. The efforts announced by the governor come as an increase in cases has hit the hundreds for days in a row. The mobilization of new resources include:

Testing Supplies:

  • Increasing weekly allotments of test kits from the federal government.
  • Additional 25,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid test cards supplied from Health and Human Services.
  • 50 new rapid testing machines that will be focused on cluster response and congregant settings from HHS.
  • Procuring 189 additional rapid testing machines and 186,000 tests that will focus on staff who serve vulnerable populations.
  • 14,000 easy to use antigen tests for rural hospitals and clinics to have rapid results.
  • Improving the testing supply chain to allow small and mid-size hospitals who can’t compete with vendors the ability to purchase equipment from the DHSS. 
  • Expanding testing with schools.

PPE supplies:

  • Purchasing 3.5 million pairs of gloves that will resupply all hospitals, clinics, and communities.

Infrastructure:

  • Opening a new commercial testing lab in Alaska which will add capacity decrease turnaround time for results.
  • Opening a new testing site in Nome.
  • Preparing alternate care sites to be on standby across the state.
  • Improving IT systems and connections so results are returned faster.

Assisted Living Facilities:

  • The Infection Prevention Team will expand current prevention work for Assisted Living Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
  • Setting up the CorrectCare app so Assisted Living Facilities can find qualified employees to work if low on staffing.

Personnel:

  • Expanding contact tracing utilizing the National Guard, UAA staffing.
  • Developing provider agreements that allow providers to bill the State of Alaska the hours that a COVID positive employee would have worked while in isolation.
  • Developing patient movement coordination and maximizing available beds around the state so patients don’t have to be diverted out of state.

“From the early days of COVID-19 reaching Alaska, my team has worked around the clock to meet the needs of our communities and provide necessary equipment to slow the spread of this virus,” said Governor Dunleavy. “I commend the tremendous effort made by our public health and emergency operations teams in coordination with our federal and local partners. Together, we remain committed to fighting the virus and protect our most vulnerable populations.”

“Our work to provide added layers of protections for Alaska’s most vulnerable populations has continued and is increasing,” said Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum. “However, even if we isolate the most vulnerable, we are all connected. These efforts to support and protect workers who assist our vulnerable populations are critical, as we also work to ensure that all Alaskans are as healthy as possible.” 

“Hospital capacity is always limited in Alaska, which is one reason it’s so critical to keep our cases as low as possible,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “Many Alaskans, and not just the elderly, are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. We must ensure we have adequate testing supplies and PPE throughout Alaska, especially in congregate settings and in rural areas where access to health care is more limited. I’m grateful to Governor Dunleavy for his support in obtaining these needed supplies.”  

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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

  • Have the BIA health service opened its doors to all Alaskans during the Covid pandemic? They certainly should have; in many parts of Alaska the IHS contractors constitute a majority of the health care facilities, and in all cases the facilities are a major resource. The costs are largely met by all federal taxpayer I believe. If we’re all in this together then……

  • Great response. Much better than lockdowns.

  • “Expanding contact tracing utilizing the National Guard, UAA staffing.“

    Say what??????!

    • Yeah, incredible BS, what a waste of time and resources. Contact tracing when over 10 % of the population is infected is such a BS response. It is of absolutely zero use.

  • Little/lot of deja-vu here? The “experts” are at it again. Alaskans do not have much more to give, in the “name of science”. Fauci could probably join in with equal confidence in destroying the state, or what is left of it. I would expect all the new draconian behavior from leftists, not our Governor. I hope he isn’t relying on ‘quack’ science again.
    How is it going in Sweden? Anyone look or ask. Remember, they did no lockdowns or forced any specific behavior from Swedes. Their economy never took a hit, they are still a fully populated country and they are laughing at the rest of the world.

    • I guess I missed the part where governor is proposing new lockdowns and other draconian measures. From the article above it is mostly about simple public safety by supplying and facilitating taking care of those who get sick.
      .
      By urging Alaskans to practice social distancing, avoid gatherings, wash their hands, and wear masks when appropriate Governor Dunleavy is doing the responsible thing. When he said the virus is “not something to be terrified of” he is talking to people who are convinced this isn’t happening along with those who think this is the end of the world. “The virus is real,” Dunleavy said. “It’s going to be a pain for all of us for the next few months until the vaccinations come online, but if we all work a little bit together like we did this spring and summer, we can get this acceleration rate down”
      .
      Let’s stop pretending this isn’t happening and let’s stop pretending it’s the end of the world.

    • Sweden experinced their highest cases per day count this week. Sweden also has a sustainable health care system.

      Which is not relevant to Alaska’s current situation, but you asked.

      Alaska, Where you get what you voted for.

      • Jeff,

        ‘Positive’ tests should not be confused with actual cases. Actual cases are miniscule. Most all the fatalities are not from wuhan v. Almost all are from people with pre-existing, life threatening conditions, not wuhan v. Sweden’s kids are in school with virtually no adverse affects from the wuhan v (no children dead). In America, all positive tests are declared “cases”, when a common cold tests ‘positive’. What a bunch of BS. Alaska and the rest of America are paying the price for the attempt to make us into leftist puppets for the NWO.

        • Am confused-there are over 300,000 excess deaths in 2020 in the USA so far.

          The life expectancy of US citizens is down over 1 yr in 2020 so far. Back to 1995 levels.

          So if Covid-19 is not responsible for these excess deaths
          what is?

  • Sweden is about equal to the US in deaths per million, which puts it in the lower part of the upper tier of deaths, percentagewise.
    Denmark about one-fifth of Sweden, Norway about one-twelfth.

    • And the virus hasn’t made its way through Norway and Denmark due to the complete shutdown of their borders. The virus will get there and will go through the population. Only an idiot would consider it even remotely possible to stop a virus from spreading once it is in the population.

  • There is no Pandemic, but there is a Testingdemic. A disease so horrible you don’t even know you have it except for a bogus test.

  • Pure evil at work: Mass testing and contact tracing. It’s the Globalist Agenda being implemented in Alaska. Welcome to the future of COVID and the New World Order… You can follow the Agenda here: rockefellerfoundation.org/news/27-u-s-cities-states-and-tribes-join-the-rockefeller-foundations-covid-19-testing-solutions-group/

  • Ann Zink is obviously an idiot. What health care professional would not have insisted on an influx of therapeutic drugs to combat the virus in people that have tested positive and are sick? Not a peep, lots of noise about testing and masking the healthy, not a friggin word about therapies that now exist to combat the virus in the ill. This is why many of us have come to the conclusion the virus is all noise and obfuscation that will become a non thing by Thanksgiving.

    • I think she has done a decent job and I would bet they were working on making sure we have a good amount of the therapies/meds in the state months ago. Otherwise, as thorough as they have been in press briefings, it would have been mentioned as a problem.

  • As long as everyone remembers that a positive test does not necessarily equal a case, we’ll do fine. The scaremongering media, particularly here in ANC is doing its level best to conflate the two. Cheers –

    • If you have hepatitis, but are asymptomatic,
      are you saying you don’t have a case of hepatitis?

      What about herpes?

      Just trying to understand the logic that a positive test doesn’t mean you have covid-19 if your asymptomatic, even though you can give others covid-19 when asymptomatic (like hepatitis).

  • I was tracking the China Virus on John Hopkins University site. Yesterday I heard that Mike Bloomberg is a huge contributor to John Hopkins. Where can the truth be found before the election?

  • It is naive at best, to think a Covid-19 vaccine will be a game changer. At most it will be 50% affective and will needed to be re-upped every 6 months and 30% to 60% of the US population won’t take it. Improved treatments will help, loosing weight-improved personal health even more, but Covid-19 and its mutations are here to stay.

    Which is not the end of the world, life expectancy decreases-missed work aside, we will abide.

    Educate yourself, get your weight down and try to figure out why folks over 70 are still catching the corona-have we learned anything since January?

  • As I have previously written: Short of locking ninety percent of the population in individual rooms, there is not much that can be done to prevent the spread of Covid 19. Testing may not accomplish very much now that the disease is in the general population. About all that testing does is to create statistics. The heavy-handed policies are killing our economy and, by inhibiting normal medical care, killing people. We are a very long way from a safe, effective and long-lasting vaccine. We need to move on from the Covid crisis. Covid is here and will remain here. Make lifestyle changes, use common sense. Insist that the medical community drop their superiority complexes, stop the self-indulgent TV interviews and do their jobs. Covid hysteria is a form of mental illness. Our current path is not rational.

  • There is clearly something that individuals can do to stop the spread of any disease. Be it wear condoms, wash your hands, isolate, where a mask, boil your water, contact trace, loose weight, refrigerate your food and so on. Covid-19 math is evolving (is lung damage cumulative when reinfected?) -but its still clear as a society and as individuals we have to decide do we want life expectancy to go up or down in 2020? 2021? its our responsibility not the government we have chosen.

    I don’t have any advanced answers on this ethical decision, but it does not help the discussion to claim there is nothing we can do to prevent disease spread.

  • 27 of 133 available ICU beds statewide, none in the Matsu…5 in Anchorage. Granted not all those in ICU beds are covid positive, but we are getting mighty thin on ICU beds around here.

  • Another item that needs mention and has been largely ignored is where the samples are being sent. We no longer process the test samples here. They are going to California, to a “for profit” lab called Fulgent Genetics. Google this lab, its owned by globalists and people with dual citizenship. Not that is is particularly bad, but many are of Chinese origin. In Cali they can bill insurance companies which is why they are sending them there. No insurance (as in homeless)? They can skim from the COVID relief funds. So much corruption here. This is how Democrats become so rich, can’t have just one seaside mansion.

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