Bipartisan group of legislators call for statewide COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Thursday that the state has seen its first positive case of...
Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Thursday that the state has seen its first positive case of COVID-19 the novel coronavirus. (KTUU)(KTUU)
Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 2:09 PM AKDT
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A bipartisan group of Alaska lawmakers are calling on Gov. Mike Dunleavy to implement a statewide shelter-in-place mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19.

, signed by 18 representatives, calls on the governor to issue the mandate to help municipalities that don’t have the legal authority to issue their own shelter-in-place orders.

"Alaska is in crisis. COVID-19 has been detected in multiple communities across our state, and without extreme measures, the virus will continue to spread rapidly and impact us all for generations," the letter from the legislators reads. "Additional decisive action must be taken to protect the lives and well-being of all Alaskans."

The letter from lawmakers sent on Thursday to the governor joins a chorus of calls from

and Alaska doctors for a statewide shelter-in-place order to be implemented.

The governor is slated to speak about travel restrictions, rules and advisories during a

Friday evening. Requests for comment from the governor’s office as to whether a statewide shelter-in-place order will be announced were not immediately returned.

Local governments across Alaska have ordered their own shelter-in-place mandates in response to COVID-19.

On Friday, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced that his

order would be extended to April 14.

On Monday, the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink, sent

in response to concerned physicians calling for greater coronavirus restrictions.

“Next steps are constantly evaluated and discussed several times a day,” the statement reads. “What all Alaskans need to do right now is make sure they are washing their hands, properly covering their coughs or sneezes, practicing social distancing and staying home when they are sick.”

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