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Legislature set to award $1.5 million contract for COVID-19 services, finalizes plans for safe Juneau session

The Legislature finalized its plans for how to hold a safe session during the pandemic.
The Legislature finalized its plans for how to hold a safe session during the pandemic.(KTUU)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 8:26 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Legislature is set to award a $1.5 million contract for a private company to provide COVID-19 services while lawmakers are in Juneau for the next legislative session.

Legislative Council approved the contract to be awarded to Beacon Occupational Health and Services on Wednesday. The Anchorage-based company will be tasked with operating COVID-19 screening at the Capitol, conducting onsite testing and organizing any quarantining that’s needed in Juneau.

The contract says the cost to provide those services cannot exceed $1.5 million.

Legislative Council also finalized its plans for how to conduct a safe session during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers approved a “pandemic code of conduct” that requires a daily screening before entering the Capitol and for everyone in the building to wear face coverings. Enforcement of the rules for legislators would be left to lawmakers themselves and to legislative leadership.

The same legislative committee previously approved a plan that would bar the public from entering the Capitol during the next legislative session. The same rule was in place when the Legislature was in session earlier in the year.

A working group will also be formed to create a plan for how many staff legislators will have during the next session and how they will travel and work in Juneau.

Kodiak Republican Sen. Gary Stevens, who chairs the Legislative Council, emphasized that these are recommendations for next year and that the next Legislature can amend them or simply ignore them when it convenes on Jan. 21.

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