Gov. Dunleavy issues fourth COVID-19 disaster declaration for Alaska

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy appeals to Alaskans to support neighbors, businesses and charities affected by COVID-19 this holiday season. He made the appeal during a news conference, Dec. 15, 2020. A sign language interpreter is on the lower left. (Screen capture of news conference)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy appeals to Alaskans to support neighbors, businesses and charities affected by COVID-19 in December. On Thursday, Dunleavy issued the fourth emergency disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. (Screen capture of news conference)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued another disaster declaration on Thursday in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The declaration goes into effect at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and will last until Feb. 14. 

It gives the state special powers to protect public health. 

This is the fourth declaration in response to the pandemic. Dunleavy issued the first in March and the Legislature later passed a law that Dunleavy signed extending it until Nov. 15. He has issued two more 30-day declarations since then.

Under state law, disaster declarations expire after no more than 30 days unless the Legislature votes to extend them. While some lawmakers have expressed concern that the governor has issued multiple declarations without the Legislature meeting, no one has sued to try to block them. 

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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