Governor Dunleavy sends emergency COVID message to Alaskans

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 4:10 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Alaskans were alerted to an emergency message from Governor Dunleavy regarding COVID in Alaska.

The emergency message was linked to a YouTube video the Governor’s team had posted with him addressing the current rise in Alaskan coronavirus cases

“I’m speaking to you today because Alaska is facing an escalating crisis that I need your help to solve. Like the rest of the nation, Alaska’s COVID-19 status is now in the red. That means COVID-19 is rapidly spreading through our communities. Our healthcare workers, first responders, and service members are being infected at unprecedented rates,” said Dunleavy.

The Governor announced a list of actions he plans to take to combat the rise of COVID-19 in Alaska. This includes his 30 day disaster declaration to take effect on Monday, November 16th directing state employees to work from home whenever possible, and mandating masks and social distancing at state work sites for employees and visitors alike.

“[I’m] very much appreciative of the comments that Governor Dunleavy made. I’m really glad they sent it out by emergency alert so that all of the community can be aware. We have been experiencing an accelerated phase of COVID across the State of Alaska," said Dr. Angelique Ramirez, Chief Medical Officer for Foundation Health Partners.

“The thing with COVID is we can treat patients, we know much better how to treat patients. The reality though is the only way to decrease the spread and to slow it down is what happens in the community outside our walls. We can’t prevent it. Again, the other thing that we do know at this point in time is that the fatality rate of COVID, and what we’ve learned from the rest of the United States, is that fatality rates go up when health care systems are overwhelmed. When health care systems are not overwhelmed, we can take care of patients. So this is absolutely critically important,” said Ramirez.

It is recommended that Alaskans practice precautions this holiday season including curbside pick up at stores, avoiding celebrating outside your immediate household, and continuing to social distance and wear masks.

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