Update — Casey Grove and Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration has ordered dine-in service at restaurants and bars statewide to remain shut down until further notice, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to grow.
The mandate was set to expire Wednesday evening. It also closes theaters, gyms and fitness centers, bowling alleys and bingo halls.
Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum also announced at the Wednesday news conference that state-operated libraries, archives and museums will also remain closed until further notice.
By Wednesday, the number of Alaskans diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had grown to 143 — up 10 from the day before.
Three of the newly-diagnosed Alaskans are from Fairbanks, two are from Anchorage, two are from North Pole, one in Juneau and one in Ketchikan. Also, the first Wasilla resident was confirmed to have the disease.
There were still nine people hospitalized with the virus, Dunleay said.
“No additional deaths, thank God,” he said.
More than 5,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed in the state so far, Dunleavy said.
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said the state doesn’t have good data on how many Alaskans have recovered from the disease so far. Patients and doctors are not required to report it to the government.
“We do know from anecdotal stories that people have recovered,” Zink said.
Dunleavy said he and his administration have not yet reached a decision on whether to keep schools closed to students for the remainder of the school year. He said it depends on how the coronavirus develops in Alaska over the next two weeks.
Alaska’s public and private classrooms are currently closed to students through at least May 1, with teachers delivering lessons remotely.
Original story — Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO
According to a press release, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Health Commissioner Adam Crum will announce updates to some of the administration’s public health mandates at today’s COVID-19 press conference at 5 p.m.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink will update COVID-19 case numbers.
And Education Commissioner Michael Johnson will discuss the statewide virtual school program.
The headline for this story has been updated.