Governor Dunleavy discusses passing legislature responding to the effects of novel coronavirus on Alaskans
On Thursday’s COVID-19 press briefing, Governor Mike Dunleavy discussed two pieces of legislation he had signed into office the day before. House Bill 308 extends unemployment benefits in the state to those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19, and Senate Bill 74 doubles internet speeds in Alaskan schools.
“This measure will add additional support for Alaskan students,” the governor said regarding SB 74, “Especially now that there’s going to be a push for more distance delivered education during this pandemic and during the school closures.”
About HB 308, the governor said, “It does represent a big win for workers, and that’s what we’re focusing on, are, especially small business and workers.” He also said that more assistance would be rolled out over the next week, and that a press conference on Friday would outline his administration’s economic strategy in response to the pandemic.
The governor then turned the conference over to Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Zink began by discussing how the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has surpassed those in China. “In the U.S., now, we have over 85,000 cases,” Zink said. “And China had 81,000 cases. Clearly this has accelerated quickly in the United States.”
“We are a little bit behind that curve compared to the Lower 48,” Zink continued, “and really appreciate everyone’s hard work in trying to slow down that curve as much as possible, however we do continue to see cases, and today we had 10 additional cases.”
As of 5:30 P.M. on Thursday, Alaska has 69 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of the 10 new cases since Wednesday, five have come out of Anchorage, two from Fairbanks, two from North Pole, and one from Juneau.