Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, May 1. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, May 1. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Dunleavy unveils next phase of reopening

Increased capacity at restaurants and limited openings for gyms

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the next phase of his reopening plan will begin Friday morning.

Under the coming regulations, many of the businesses that have already been running, such as restaurants and personal care facilities, could serve more people. Some new businesses will be able to reopen with some limitations.

“Our numbers are still pretty much the lowest in the country,” Dunleavy said Wednesday evening at a press conference in Anchorage, referring to case counting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which says Alaska has the fewest Covid-19 cases in the country. “Starting at 8 on Friday, from the state’s perspective we’re going to be in Phase 2.”

The governor also announced the state’s 10th death related to COVID-19, but said Alaskans’ diligence has paid off in the state’s low case count.

Alaskans will need to remain on guard, Dunleavy said, if the reopening was going to happen safely. Asked about enforcement of regulations, Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum said the state had put out best practices recommendations for various industries but would be relying mostly on citizen’s monitoring themselves.

“It’s about being a good neighbor,” Crum said. “We want to make sure everyone’s doing the right thing.”

Some of the updated rules coming Friday under the governor’s plan include:

• Social and religious gathering can take place with up to 50 people

• Restaurants, retail and nonessential business can accept walk-in customers and increase their capacity to 50%.

• Fitness centers can open to 25% capacity but customers must stay at least 10 feet apart. Pools can open to 50% capacity.

• Personal care facilities are still reservation only, but can open to 50% capacity or 20 customers.

• Bars, libraries and museums can open to 25% capacity. Walk-ins are permitted.

The third phase of the governor’s plan will include expanding intrastate travel, increasing capacity for child care facilities and reopening organized sports and overnight camps, according to the governor’s office.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

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