Alaska Confirms 335 Cases of Coronavirus and Prepares for Economic Reopening
April 22, 2020
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services(DHSS) reported on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, that some coronavirus-related health mandates will be adjusted over the next few days, as six new cases have been confirmed in the state, increasing the total number of positive cases to 335.
Governor Mike Dunleavy and DHSS Commissioner, Adam Crum on Wednesday reported on revised and updated health mandates related to reopening business for many Alaskan communities starting Friday. The process to reopen restaurants, personal care services and small businesses will start this Friday, April 24, 2020. However, the city of Anchorage will not begin reopening until next Monday.
Crum placed a major emphasis on Health Mandate 016, which will become enforceable on Friday, April 24. This rule "addresses several previous mandates as part of the first phase of business reopening." Businesses and employees must continue to take great care of hygiene to protect their staff during this pandemic, he said, and Alaskans should follow instructions on sanitizing, hand washing, social distancing and others.
Retailers, for example, can’t have more than 20 people inside their stores at any time, face masks should be used and traffic in one direction is recommended; for restaurants, the bar area must remain closed, outdoor tables and chairs must have a distance of ten feet from one another; the personal care services can be restored as long as they meet the requirements of their board of directors, can provide services by appointment only and with limited capacity within their business, among other requirements.
As for the six new cases, four of them are in Anchorage, one in Juneau and one in Wasilla. Two are men and four are women, several of the infected people are under the age of ten. The number of cases recovered is 196.
Medical Director, Dr. Anne Zink, said that "we are trying to determine when the onset of contagions is, our active cases are decreasing, but our total cases are always going to increase, now our duplication time (for cases) is 30 days. That is a useful tool to help us understand where in the growth curve we are, and whether the growth is linear or exponential."
Zink also reported that a more targeted asymptomatic evaluation is being added. So far at least 10,858 tests have been conducted in more than 100 facilities suitable for this type of test.
This new data is given after the State communicated the first plans to reopen the economy in several Alaskan communities on Friday, April 24, 2020. Anchorage officials said its opening will be delayed at least until Monday, April 27.
by Sol de Medianoche
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