Governor Mike Dunleavy will continue to rely on voluntary measures to respond to COVID-19 as the number of Alaskans with the virus increases rapidly.
During Monday’s news conference, Dunleavy repeated his call for Alaskans to stay away from others and wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
“If we step back just a little bit and start working on some of these mitigation approaches that we all did months ago that had us with the lowest numbers in the country across the board — and our numbers are still pretty low and in some cases lowest across the board — we’re going to keep our businesses open, easily,” he said.
More than 20% of the 1,539 Alaskan cases have been announced in the last five days.
Dunleavy says his administration doesn’t want to shut down things, but he is asking people to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus.
He says a combination of factors have led to the increase in the state. He says that the low number of cases in the state compared with what many people expected may be affecting Alaskans’ behavior.
“You know, there are some folks who don’t necessarily think it’s real,” he said. “I mean, they know there’s a virus out there but don’t necessarily think it’s going to impact them or affect them. There’s other folks who have to do their work or essential social activities together.”
The governor emphasizes that the virus will come in waves until there is a vaccine.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s latest COVID-19 press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. today.
The governor and members of his administration having been holding these briefings since March 10.
At this evening’s press conference, the governor will be joined by Public Health Director Heidi Hedberg, Chief of Epidemiology Dr. Joe McLaughlin and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.
Dunleavy announced today’s press conference in a tweet on Sunday after 93 Alaskans and 23 non-residents in Alaska were reported to have tested positive.
93 Alaskan residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Tomorrow at 5pm I will be joined by Alaska public health officials for a discussion on how the outbreak and its impacts are evolving. (1/2)
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Alaska visit: https://t.co/E4CduAJaHj
— Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) July 12, 2020
Sunday was the largest single-day increase in the state and the first time the state has seen over 100 cases in one day.
On Monday, there were more than 900 active cases of COVID-19 in Alaska. A majority of the new cases reported Monday were tied to Anchorage, where employees tasked with investigating the infections are overwhelmed.