People experiencing homelessness are exempt under Juneau’s hunker-down order. For many of them, the threat of a pandemic is just not as high of a priority as staying warm or getting their next meal.
Hair salons, spas, nail salons, barbershops, and tattoo and piercing parlors all over Alaska are closed under an order by the governor intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the lawmakers recognized that the order would “undoubtedly cause hardship for some Alaskans,” but that they believe Alaskans are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to keep their communities safe.
But at least two small businesses in Alaska are retooling their operations from making things like custom car or gun parts, to producing face shields for protecting healthcare providers and printing the long swabs needed to test for the virus.
That would allow them to put $35 million into the a fund that could later benefit the Ambler Road Project, which they’re also scheduled to vote on.
Not everyone who has been affected by the coronavirus is covered. One glaring loophole in the state legislation is that it doesn’t cover people who are self-employed or contract work, such as hair and nail salon workers, unless they’re specially set up to pay unemployment taxes.
Alaska’s Legislature has been working to finish the state budget and pass bills in response to the coronavirus, and lawmakers could leave Juneau as soon as Friday.
The Port of Seattle announced this week its cruise ship season would be delayed “until the resolution of the public health emergency.”
Some 600 business entities have filed plans with the state outlining how they’ll safely bring out-of-state workers into Alaska to support “critical infrastructure” amid the coronavirus pandemic, state officials said Wednesday.
A major union representing U.S. crew members is against any public money flowing to the cruise lines.