First in-state COVID-19 death, new mandates announced

First in-state COVID-19 death, new mandates announced

More restrictive health mandates issued

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a statewide social distancing order and a stop to in-state travel between communities during a Friday evening press conference.

The mandates came paired with news that there were 16 additional new COVID-19 cases in Alaska since Thursday, including one in Juneau, as well as one death in the state.

“All persons in Alaska, except for those engaged in essential health care services, public government services, and essential business activities, are mandated to remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing,” Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.

People are still allowed to leave their homes, but are asked to stay six-feet apart, Crum said. The order would be in effect from 5 p.m. Saturday, March 28 and be re-evaluated on April 11.

The second health mandate prohibits unnecessary travel between communities.

“All in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure; or for critical personal needs,” the mandate says.

Additional information on the details of the mandates can be found on the state’s coronavirus website.

The first person to die from COVID-19 within the state was a 63-year-old woman with underlying health conditions, according to Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.

Zink extended her condolences to the friends and family of the deceased, and added it is important to keep in mind there are people behind all the numbers that appear in the news.

“The next two weeks are going to be critical in slowing the spread of this virus,” Dunleavy said. “We want to try and isolate as many Alaskans as possible.”

Dunleavy said the Alaska National Guard was being prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases in terms of emergency transportation and supplementing law enforcement.

State officials are expected to have more information on the state’s economic response on Monday, Dunleavy said.

“We haven’t seen the worst of this yet, but we are gearing up, we are getting ready for this,” Dunleavy said.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Dec. 3

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Teachers and school board members talk during the Juneau Board of Education and Juneau Education Association’s annual meet and greet in mid November. JEA contract negotiation team declared impasse last Friday and are in the process of filing for federal mediation.
Juneau teachers union declares impasse amid drawn-out negotiations

Still, the teachers union and district express optimism about working toward agreement.

This photo shows an Alaska State Trooper patrol vehicle (Juneau Empire File)
Troopers: Man killed raven, consumed its tongue

No arrests or citations made at this time, but investigation is underway.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Man sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex abuse of a minor

DNA and sex offender registration required as part of sentence.

t
Writers’ Weir: A window into the sea

A nonfiction story by Rodger Painter.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Dec. 8

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Kéet and Oscar wait patiently to play on the beach in winter in Wrangell. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)
Planet Alaska: Winter words

Phrases and words to use to create a Lingít language immersion outing in the winter.

Most Read