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KMXT received the following press release from the Kodiak Emergency Services Council (ESC). We are posting it as received, with minor editing.
For Immediate Release – March 18, 2020
ESC COVID-19 Update – No. 1
Emergency Services Council Declares a Local Public Health Disaster Emergency
Kodiak, Alaska – On March 18, 2020, the Emergency Services Council (ESC) authorized the Emergency Services Director (ESD) Mike Tvenge to declare a public health emergency in Kodiak, Alaska.
Per Kodiak City Code 2.32 and Kodiak Island Borough Code 2.110, the ESC consists of the City Mayor and Manager, Borough Mayor and Manager, the two USCG Commanding Officers, and the Kodiak supervisor for the Alaska State Troopers, or their designees. These codes also dictate that the City Manager shall serve as the Emergency Services Director. The ESC has the authority to proclaim a local disaster when recommended by the ESD, adopt mutual aid plans and coordinate emergency services, approve emergency response plans, and issue policy guidance to an incident commander or unified command during an emergency response.
After an emergency proclamation is declared, the ESD, under the guidance of the ESC, can issue rules and regulations on matters reasonably related to public safety. This includes, and is not limited to: obtaining necessary supplies and equipment to mitigate the emergency and protect life and personal property, direct City and Borough employees, and execute and adopt all special powers conferred by the Borough and City codes. In the event that the ESD is not available, the emergency services coordinator will assume the role of ESD. The emergency services coordinator is Kodiak Fire Chief Jim Mullican.
The goal of the Council is to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 in our community by first reducing the spread. The local emergency declaration is similar to the State’s and numerous other Alaska communities. In addition to providing a clear chain of command, the declaration will help bring financial resources to our community. The overall financial impact is not known at this time, and it is too early to estimate.
There are no known COVID-19 cases in Kodiak at this time, and the emergency declaration is another method for the community to be prepared against this virus. The ESC and the ESD support the Governor’s health mandates which can be found at http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx
As a result of this declaration, the Emergency Operations Center will facilitate a long-term response to the virus and prepare and execute plans. We appreciate the cooperation of the community and continue to urge everyone to stay informed through credible news sources.