Governor plans on issuing another Alaska COVID-19 emergency declaration

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 1:22 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy plans to issue another COVID-19 public health disaster emergency declaration for Alaska for another 30 days, the governor’s office said on Thursday.

Dunleavy will formally issue the declaration on Monday, which will be in place until Jan. 15, 2021, the governor’s office said in a release.

“While the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Alaska any day now, the threat posed by the virus is still with us,” Dunleavy said in a written statement. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel - but the next 30 days are crucial to advance therapeutic treatments and the vaccination plan so we can defeat this virus and begin returning to normal.”

In November, Dunleavy signed a 30-day declaration, which will expire on Dec. 15. The governor has faced criticism from some state legislators for that declaration instead of calling legislators into a special session, as the Legislature has the ability to extend the declaration for longer than a 30-day period, Alaska Senate President Cathy Giessel said in a statement in November.

The first COVID-19 emergency declaration went into effect on March 11 after Alaska reported its first COVID-19 outbreak. The latest plans for issuing another declaration come as Alaska could receive its first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine this month.

The State of Alaska’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force said the state could receive 35,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, which could soon be followed by another 17,900 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, health care officials said on Monday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct that Dunleavy is issuing another 30-day emergency declaration, not extending it.

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