State issues new health guidelines in anticipation of COVID-19 cases reaching Alaska

KMXT just received this press release from the governor’s office issuing new health guidance for the state. We are posting it as we received it.

The new guidelines are reachable at the link below “State of Alaska Health Alert.”

We have copied and pasted the content to the end of the governor’s press release in case you have trouble opening it.




State of Alaska Urges Alaskans to Follow New Health Guidance in Anticipation of COVID-19 Cases

March 10, 2020 (Anchorage, AK) – Governor Mike Dunleavy, with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), today announced new recommendations to help prevent or slow the spread of cases of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Alaska. Although Alaska currently has no known cases of COVID-19, the disease is spreading rapidly both globally and in the United States. State officials, working with diverse partners in communities statewide, have been actively preparing for a positive case and the likelihood of community transmission in Alaska.

“Information surrounding the Coronavirus Disease is evolving rapidly and we are going to be adjusting our approaches as a state and as individuals. We will be adding more tools to the toolbox to combat this virus and ensure Alaska is prepared,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I want Alaskans to know we have been working on our Coronavirus Disease preparedness daily and are learning from other states and countries. The question is, ‘Are we going to be prepared?’ We are going to be prepared as well as, if not more than, any other state.”

Today’s recommendations are based on guidance from the CDC and the Alaska DHSS Division of Public Health. These are concrete steps individuals can do to keep communities safe. The recommendations include everyday preventive measures for all Alaskans and new measures for people older than 60, or those with chronic health conditions, such as staying home as much as possible, keeping prescription medicines and groceries on hand and avoiding crowds.

“These voluntary measures may seem sudden and extreme to some Alaskans, but the time to act is now, even before we detect cases in Alaska,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “Alaska is prepared but we are a unique state, with unique circumstances. We are asking for the cooperation of all Alaskans in following these guidelines. Based on what we know from previous epidemics, we know that early invention can help save lives.”

Please see the official State of Alaska Health Alert for the latest recommendations.

For the latest information on COVID-19, click here.


Information contained in Alaska Health Alert

Issued March 10, 2020 By: Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer, State of Alaska

To prevent or slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the State of Alaska strongly recommends the following guidance:

For all Alaskans  

• Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap or water are not available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and face.

• Cover coughs or sneezes.

• Stop shaking hands.

• Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items.

Recommendations for higher risk Alaskans  

People who are over 60, and anyone who has serious chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease, and diabetes, are at increased risk of developing severe illness and dying from COVID-19.

• Reduce your exposure:

o Stay home as much as possible. Ask family or friends to bring in items you need.

o Avoid crowds and mass gatherings where exposure risk is greater.

o Stay at least six feet away from others who are sick.

o Limit close contact and wash your hands often.

o If you can, telecommute for work.


• Watch for symptoms including cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

• Have a plan in case you get sick and know how to take care of yourself.  This includes having necessary supplies on hand, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications, other medical necessities, groceries, and other household items.

These recommendations are based on the CDC’s guidance, which can be found here:

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