KMXT received this Health Alert on Tuesday evening. We post it here as received, with minor editing.
**COVID-19 HEALTH ALERT**
Issued: March 17, 2020
By: Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska
Commissioner Adam Crum, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is committed to the health and well-being of Alaskans. Child care is a critical support for working families, their children and businesses. At this time, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are recommending that child care facilities stay open if they safely can do so. We do not want children to be cared for by elders, because people aged greater than 60 years are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Employers are encouraged to talk to their workforce. We also know that children, while they may carry the disease, get sick from COVID-19 much less frequently than adults.
Until further notice, we recommend that every child care site adhere to the following recommendations:
- Follow aggressive measures to screen children for respiratory infection and do not allow any ill child into a child care center.
- No child who has been outside of Alaska in the last 14 days should be allowed in a child care center.
- No one who has a fever or respiratory symptoms should be allowed to work in a child care center.
- Keep numbers below 10 for group settings.
- Cohort kids, keeping the same group of kids together.
- Adhere to social distancing (at least six feet) to limit mixing.
- Spend time in well-ventilated spaces as much as possible.
- Practice frequent and rigorous environmental cleaning.
- No one over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions should be working in child care centers.
Families should consider alternative child care opportunities, if possible.