Alaska coronavirus and COVID-19 updates

Total cases (cumulative):

412

Total deaths:

10

Daily new cases reported

Live updates

This will be updated regularly with information about the coronavirus. Scroll down for older information.

Sunday May 24, 2020

4:50 p.m.  – Another Juneau-are resident has tested positive for COVID-19. That brings the city’s total confirmed cases to to 31; the majority have recovered. State health officials said the person is from Douglas, a first for the community.

Thursday May 21, 2020

5:50 p.m. Gov. Mike Dunleavy is hosting a series of virtual town hall meetings focusing on Alaska’s response to COVID-19 and his administration’s plan to reopen the state.  Today’s meeting started at 5:30 p.m. at can be streamed at Facebook.com/GovDunleavy and Livestream.com/GovDunleavy. 

For a complete schedule or to ask a question visit: gov.alaska.gov/townhall

Sunday May 17, 2020

5:58 p.m. – The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on Sunday reported four new coronavirus cases among Alaska residents. Two cases were in Anchorage, one was in Homer and one was a staff member at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center — the 11th staffer to test positive.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Corrections announced that all inmates and staff would be tested for the virus. DHSS said in a Sunday press release that the remainder of those results will be back “soon.”

A nonresident seafood worker also tested positive for the coronavirus — the fifth seafood industry worker to test positive in Alaska, according to DHSS. The department says the worker was still in quarantine in Anchorage. Under state guidelines, fisheries workers are required to quarantine for two weeks at their destination communities.

Saturday May 16, 2020

11:53 a.m. – The state is reporting four new cases of coronavirus by Friday, including one non-resident in Dillingham. The other three cases are people from Kenai, Anchorage and the Bethel-area.

The Dillingham case is the fourth person who isn’t from Alaska who is in the state working in the seafood industry and has tested positive for the virus.

That brings the state’s total number of cases to 392. Of those, 344, or nearly 88% of people who have tested positive for the virus, have since recovered.

The number of hospitalizations increased by two, to 43. And the number of deaths remains unchanged, at 10.  In total, 33,281 tests have been administered in the state — though some people have been tested more than once, so this number is not reflective of the total number of people tested in Alaska.

Thursday May 7, 2020

2:30 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau will not be reopening public facilities on Friday, despite a state reopening plan that says swimming pools, museums and libraries can now operate at 25 percent capacity.

The Juneau Assembly will meet on Monday to discuss reopening safely.  According to a city press release, CBJ doesn’t intend to open public facilities until “the Assembly has had time to understand the Governor’s approach and his rationale for implementing it.”  Additionally, it encourages business owners to proceed cautiously.

During a Wednesday evening press conference, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum detailed the second part of their plan to reopen the state’s economy — it includes allowing most non-essential businesses to reopen, as well as fitness centers and bars, though at a reduced capacity. It also increased the capacity for businesses – like restaurants — which were allowed to reopen two weeks ago.

Thursday April 29, 2020

3:00 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau’s new short-term rental assistance program targets households where a member has lost employment and is unable to meet rent obligations due to COVID-19.

To apply for the program, residents should contact Program Coordinator Shari Partin with Alaska Housing Development Corporation at 780-4475.

Sunday April 26, 2020

3:17 p.m. – An inmate at the Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first inmate in Alaska’s correctional system to have a positive test.

The inmate has been in isolation since April 19, according to a release from the Alaska Department of Corrections. The department said it received confirmation of the positive result at 9 p.m. on Saturday and alerted the staff at the facility late Saturday night.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said that two new cases were reported on Saturday. Of those, one was a patient at a Sitka long-term care facility, and the second case was in North Pole. The Goose Creek inmate was not included in the state’s latest case count update but will be a part of Monday’s updated numbers.

Wednesday April 22, 2020

9:50 a.m. – Starting Friday, the following services will begin to open up:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Barbers, nail salons and hairdressers
  • Fitness classes
  • Fishing charters
  • Religious gatherings

Services will be limited to guidelines set by the state. For more detailed information, see the state health mandates.

Tuesday April 21, 2020

6 p.m. – Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced today that restaurants and other retail businesses can begin offering more services on Friday, if they follow certain health guidelines.

Restaurants that follow the guidelines can offer dine-in services. In addition, retail stores; personal service providers like barbers, nail salons and hairdressers; and other nonessential businesses will be able to offer limited services.

Dunleavy said there are going to be five phases to the economic reopening. Different businesses will fall into different phases, which will be detailed on a state website.

In the phase starting on Friday, businesses that reopen will have to stay below 25% of their capacity.

The governor said the state will be closely watching the number of cases, and will use two-week time periods. The mandate limiting international travel and travel from other states was extended until May 19. The mandates on maintaining social distancing and restricting travel inside Alaska were extended indefinitely.

Saturday April 18, 2020

3:38 p.m. – The Juneau Assembly will hold a special meeting on Monday at 6 p.m.  The chambers are closed to the public, but people who want to testify can call the clerk’s office at 907-586-0216 or email city.clerk@juneau.org by 3 p.m. Monday.

The’ll be discussing a resolution encouraging people to wear masks in public, another that would put $200,000 into a rental assistance fund and two ordinances aimed at streamlining borough code for emergencies.

If you want to participate, you can call: 1-346 -248-7799 and enter Webinar ID: 918 3557 9638.  To listen, you can broadcast it on the borough’s Facebook page and on its website.

2:18 p.m. –  State health officials are reporting that five more Alaskans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Two of them are from the Matanuska Susitna Borough, one from Anchorage and two from the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

That brings the total to 314 Alaskans diagnosed so far. But of those people, nearly half of them — or 147 — have recovered.

Friday April 17, 2020

5:40 p.m. More than 32,000 people filed for unemployment benefits in March as Alaska businesses close their doors due to the spread of COVID-19.

According to data from the state’s Department of Labor, the biggest jump came from people who were working in food service and accommodation as hotels and restaurants closed or limited service.  But there were also jobs lost in health care, social assistance — as non-emergency medical visits and procedures were banned by the state. And, there were also claims from people who work in retail and wholesale trade.

Most of the new claims came from the Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna and the Kenai Peninsula Boroughs.

5:20 p.m. – It’s not clear if, or what kind, of cruise ship season Juneau and Southeast Alaska will have this year.  The City and Borough of Juneau put out an updates list of cruise ship cancellations:

  • Princess Cruises announced cancellation of all sailings through June 30
  • Princess Cruises announced cancellation of all cruises across the Gulf of Alaska and any interior cruisetour packages in 2020
  • Princess Cruises plans to operate Ruby Princess & Emerald Princess in Alaska in 2020 from Seattle, roundtrip SE Alaska, planned sailing late summer
  • Holland America Line announced cancellation of all sailings through June 30
  • Holland America Line announced cancellation of all cruises across the Gulf of Alaska and interior Land & Sea Journeys packages in 2020
  • Holland America Line plans to operate Koningsdam (from Vancouver) and Eurodam (from Seattle) roundtrip Southeast Alaska in 2020, planned sailing late summer
  • Seabourn Cruise Line suspended sailings through June 30
  • NCL suspended sailings through May 10
  • NCL cancelled the Alaska season for Norwegian Sun
  • Alaskan Dream Cruises suspended sailings through May 31
  • Lindblad Expeditions suspended sailings through June 1
  • American Cruise Lines intends at this time to start operating in June/July
  • UnCruise Adventures suspended Alaska ship sailings until June 5
  • Carnival Cruise Lines suspended all Alaska sailings (Carnival Spirit) through June 30
  • Carnival Cruise Lines cancelled the 2020 Alaska season for Carnival Miracle
  • RCI/Celebrity suspended all Alaska and Canada sailings through June 30
  • Viking Cruises suspended operations through June 30
  • Hurtigruten Cruises suspended sailings through June 30
  • Silver Sea Cruises suspended sailings through June 30
  • Disney Cruise Line suspended Alaska cruises through July 5
  • Windstar Cruises cancelled 2020 Alaska season
  • The Boat Company cancelled 2020 Alaska season

According to the city, 360 voyages have been cancelled which is about 695,000 passengers.

5:15 p.m. – The City of Juneau reported that a man who works at Lemon Creek Correctional Center has been diagnosed with COVID -19.  To date, seven correctional center staff have tested positive for the virus. Two of them have recovered.

Some inmates have been tested, though none have been reported as having the virus as of Friday.

Wednesday April 15, 2020

2:30 p.m. – The city has extended its contract with St. Vincent de Paul to operate the cold weather shelter for another three months. The original contract was set to expire April 15. The shelter will now continue to operate out of the Juneau Arts and Culture Center from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. each night with space for up to 71 cots.

The Glory Hall homeless shelter remains open to a limited number of overnight patrons for now and has started serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the covered basketball court at the Zach Gordon Youth Center. Glory Hall Director Mariya Lovishuk said she hopes this location will be temporary until they can find a better indoor location that provides enough room for people to social distance.

6:30 p.m. – A total of seven staff members at Lemon Creek Correctional Center have tested positive for COVID-19 since last week. About half of the prison staff and four inmates have been tested at this point, according to the Department of Corrections. All four inmates tested negative.

Monday April 13, 2020

3:47 p.m. – The Southeast Alaska Food Bank will start holding a Mobile Food Pantry starting this Wednesday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Sealaska parking lot.

Anyone in need of food assistance can stop by and pick up food. Friends and loved ones of those in need can also pick up food.

8:34 a.m. – As of Sunday, the Department of Health and Social Services says there are 15 new COVID-19 cases across the state, including one Juneau resident. So far, 16 Juneau residents have tested positive for the virus.

Thursday April 9, 2020

8:50 p.m. –  A group of local business leaders, former mayors and a tribal government representative are studying and recommending ways to help Juneau’s economy recover. They met for the first time Thursday. 

Their first task was to weigh in on a proposed emergency rental assistance program. The task force is aiming to have a recommendation in time for the Juneau Assembly’s meeting on April 20. The task force also set up subcommittees to examine several specific parts of economic recovery: childcare, cruise ships and tourism, restaurants, and finance education for small businesses.

Future meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Economic Stabilization Task Force and its subcommittees will be publicly noticed at juneau.org.

8 p.m. – A staff member at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center has tested positive for COVID-19. Staff at the facility informed inmates Thursday afternoon. In a media release, the state’s Department of Corrections noted that they took “swift action to protect the health and welfare of inmates and staff at the facility.”

No one from the prison facility or the state’s Department of Corrections would comment on what that action is. 

5:40 p.m. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum have extended the K-12 school closure through the end of the school year. 

Schools will still provide distance learning.  Many schools were scheduled to hold their last days during the week of May 18.

The state also extended mandates requiring that people remain in their homes, closing non-essential businesses and restricting travel in the state through April 21.

Wednesday April 8, 2020

A triage tent is set up to screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 outside on Monday, April 7, 2020 at Bartlett Hospital in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

9 a.m. Bartlett Regional Hospital is instituting a no visitor policy which goes into effect today at 3 p.m, but the hospital is making some exceptions. Visitors who meet one of the following criteria can still come to the hospital:

  • The significant other or partner to a laboring mother
  • The parent or guardian (one) of a minor child
  • The legally authorized representative of a protected or high risk patient
  • Impending death unless Covid-19 infection is likely cause of death* (one visitor)
  • Law Enforcement
  • Other exclusions may be granted by the house supervisor or administrator on call

While at the hospital, the visitor must stay in the patient’s room at all times, and there will be no swapping out of caregivers. The cafeteria will be closed to visitors. However, meals for visitors can still be delivered to the patient’s room.

The press release also notes that, in a effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, visitors cannot be in the room of a dying patient with coronavirus.

Tuesday April 7, 2020

5:07 p.m. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska told KTOO that tribal citizens who are struggling as a result of the pandemic are encouraged to seek assistance on the tribe’s website. More information on eligibility requirements can be found here.

The tribe created an emergency response center last week to keep citizens updated about the pandemic in Alaska and across the country.

Citizens living outside of the tribe’s service area can go to the Bureau of Indian Affairs directory and locate the nearest tribe to request assistance.

The tribe is also still operating the Community Drive for Food and Sundries to help the communities affected by the recent delay in ferry service. Donations are still being accepted at Superbear IGA and Fred Meyer.

4:04 p.m. To promote social distancing, the city is closing the interior waiting area of the Downtown Transit Center. It will close Wednesday until further notice.

Ridership is still limited on Capital Transit buses to nine riders. CAPITAL AKcess vans are still limited to two riders. Riders should only be using public transportation for essential trips, like for groceries, health care and essential work.

1:03 p.m. Juneau School District is taking steps to remain connected and support students and their families as they adapt to online learning. Along with providing meals every Monday, the district is distributing art kits that include supplies and an instruction sheet with a link to digital art lessons. So far, the district has distributed 16,000 meals prepared by NANA Management Servies to students.

The district is also surveying teachers and staff to find how it can better support schools starting this week.

9 a.m. Bartlett Regional Hospital is requiring all visitors to wear a face covering now and wear it all times. The face coverings can be handmade. The hospital decided to take this directive to comply with recommendations from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and the State of Alaska to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Monday April 6, 2020

1:40 p.m. House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage) sent a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy requesting that this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend payments be distributed as soon as legally possible.

In the April 3 letter, Pruitt asks the Governor to direct the Commissioner of Revenue “to implement necessary regulations and prepare a payment of either the full $1000 appropriated amount, or an equally divided amount distributed over two or more months as soon as possible after the effective date of the bill July 1, 2020.”

12:45 p.m. According to the daily update to the state’s dashboard, six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since yesterday. There are six new hospitalizations and no new deaths. 

12:30 p.m. The City and Borough of Juneau announced that it will reduce hours for the CBJ Recycling Center and Junk Vehicle Program due to lower demand.

Starting Monday, the recycling center will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the general public. The center will also be open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Friday exclusively for those who are medically vulnerable to COVID-19.

The junk vehicle program will now be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The city asks that all users maintain 6 feet between themselves and others at all times.

9 a.m. According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, there are a total of 14 new confirmed Alaska cases, including a staff member of the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage, and four new hospitalizations. On Sunday evening, the Petersburg Medical Center confirmed another case of COVID-19.

A 71-year-old Anchorage resident, with pre-existing health conditions, died as of Sunday. So far, six Alaska residents have died from complications resulting from COVID-19.

Sunday April 5, 2020

2:27 p.m. – As of Sunday, two more Juneau residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. That brings the total to 14 individuals. The City and Borough of Juneau sent out a press release stating the source of the virus in both cases is pending investigation. Officials with the State Division of Public Health are reaching out to people who may have come in contact with these cases. 

According to the state’s dashboard, another Alaska resident died as of Sunday. So far, six people have died from complications resulting from COVID-19. 

There are a total of 14 new confirmed cases of state residents and four new hospitalizations. 

Saturday April 4, 2020

Noon – State officials are reporting that two more people have died from COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 5.

According to the state’s updated numbers on Saturday, one more person has been hospitalized as well. So far, 171 people have tested positive for the virus.  The new cases of the disease are people whose home communities are scattered across Alaska — Anchorage, Eagle River/Chugiak, Fairbanks, North Pole, Juneau and Anchor Point.  However, it’s not clear if those people are in those communities.

For example, the Anchor Point case is a man who died from the virus while out of the state on March 29. The second death is a woman from the Fairbanks area.  She was hospitalized and died on Friday.

During a Friday evening press conference, the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said that 16 people had recovered.

11:45 a.m.  – The state’s Department of Transportation is keeping all state-owned harbor facilities and seaplane bases open, despite calls to close them. According to a Friday media release, the facilities are a critical lifeline across Alaska.

11:40 a.m. -The city is collecting donations of personal protective equipment for medical workers and families.  They’re asking for:

  • Tyvek coveralls
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Gloves – nitrile or latex
  • Masks and respirators – N95
  • Bleach
  • Hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clorox or Lysol wipes
  • Thermometers

Donations will go to Bartlett Regional Hospital, Capital City Fire/Rescue and the Juneau Police Department.  For more information check the city’s volunteer and donations page.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Noon – Small businesses in Juneau could have emergency cash headed their way starting today.  The Juneau Assembly approved an emergency measure on Wednesday night to make up to $3 million of public money available as low-or no-interest loans to qualified businesses.

Public health mandates to combat the spread of COVID-19 have frozen a lot of economic activity. The loan program is intended to help small businesses get by until federal and state relief is available.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

5:40 p.m. – 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.

5:22 p.m. – Another person in Juneau has been diagnosed with COVID-19, that brings the city’s total to 10.

2:05 p.m. – Alaskans who have not yet filed for Permanent Fund Dividends will be able to file through April 30 — nearly a month after the original deadline.

State PFD offices have been closed to the public since mid-March due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.  Applications are available on the state’s website. 

 

The M/V Tustumena pulls away from Kodiak on Jan. 11, 2020, beginning a ferry service gap of more than three months. (Photo by Kavitha George/KMXT)

1:55 p.m. – The Department of Transportation says the COVID-19 pandemic will delay core ferry service until mid-May.  The overhaul work on the Columbia, Kennicott and Tustumena will be finished on schedule — but the crews needed to run the ships have been sent home.

According to the DOT, passengers are being notified and rebooked or refunded.

12:12 p.m. – Juneau’s household hazardous waste drop-off is reopening on Thursday.  It will have the same operating days and times — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for residential drop-off on Friday and Saturday, Thursdays by appointment for businesses.

But, there are some changes to help maintain 6 feet of distance between people:

  • People must remain in their vehicles at all times
  • The waste should be stored in the back of the vehicle so that hazardous waste staff can remove it
  • Containers won’t be returned, so bring a cardboard box or something that can be discarded
  • Businesses can call 907-780-6691 and leave a message with the business name, contact info and a description of the material that needs to be disposed off — staff will then call them back with more instructions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

4:50 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau is reporting four new cases of COVID-19. There are now nine people in Juneau who have tested positive for the virus.

2:34 p.m. – The Internal Revenue Service has released guidance on federal economic impact payments that most Americans are expecting to receive.

According to that guidance, the distribution of most of those payments will begin in about three weeks and should happen automatically for most people. The Treasury plans to develop a web portal for people to provide their banking information to the IRS so they can avoid waiting for checks in the mail.

But, some seniors, low-income taxpayers, social security recipients, veterans and others who are not required to file tax returns may have to take some extra steps. There will be a simplified tax return to fill out.  As the IRS develops instructions for that group of people to file — they can be found here. 

11:30 a.m. -The Sealaska Heritage Institute is extending the deadline to apply for the Sealaska scholarship to April 15.  In a media release, the Board of Trustees attributed the extension to the number of shareholders and descendants who lost their jobs due to the virus and who now want to go back to school.

11 a.m. – The city is extending the hours at the cold weather shelter due to the cold snap.  The emergency shelter currently operating out of the Juneau Arts and Culture Center will open until 11 a.m.  Then, while it’s being cleaned — Centennial Hall will be open.

The extended shelter hours will likely change later in the week as temperatures warm.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

6:45 p.m. – Juneau has its fifth confirmed case of coronavirus, according to state officials. They also confirmed Sunday that a third Alaskan has died of COVID-19 and announced that the official number of novel coronavirus cases in the state had reached 114.

7 p.m. – The Juneau Assembly will hold a special meeting Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. to discuss an emergency resolution appropriating $3 million for small business loans. The City and Borough of Juneau will livestream the meeting on Facebook and KTOO will air the meeting live on the radio and online.

Friday, March 27, 2020

6:15 p.m. –  Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued two new mandates on Friday. They’re designed to further limit Alaskans’ movement and travel as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb and the first Alaska died in the state after testing positive for the disease. 

One mandate requires Alaskans to stay in their homes and practice social distancing unless they’re essential workers, including employees in health care and government services. People can go outside, under the mandate, but they must remain six feet or more away from individuals not in their households.

The other new mandate restricts travel between communities in the state, unless that travel is to support critical infrastructure or is for critical personal needs. That mandate goes into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday.

6:05 p.m. – Juneau’s Docks and Harbors board is meeting on Monday March 30 at 5 p.m. to talk, among other things, about potential financial relief for permit holders and the moorage reservation policy.

Juneau’s assembly chambers are closed to the public, but people wishing to testify or listen to the meeting can call 907-713-2140 and enter the ID: 370829# to join the meeting.

The agenda can be found here.

5 p.m. Juneau city officials say a fourth person has tested positive for COVID-19 in the city. 

In a late afternoon media release, the City and Borough of Juneau said the state confirmed the case on Friday.  

A city spokesperson says they do not yet know if the person who tested positive has been traveling. The state’s Division of Public Health will reach out to anyone who may have come in contact with the individual.

4:45 p.m. –  It should be easier to get tested for COVID-19 in Juneau going forward. 

The City and Borough of Juneau announced Friday that it’s expanding its criteria for testing to include people who are at medium or low risk for the virus. The expanded criteria now includes anyone with fever, cough or shortness of breaths. Testing will still only be available by appointment.

In a media release, the city asked that anyone with a primary care provider call them first to get a referral to the Capital City Fire and Rescue testing center.  

Anyone can call the city’s hotline at 586-6000 between noon and 6 p.m. to be evaluated for testing.

12:30 p.m. –  The Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Board of Trustees has decided to postpone Celebration for a year amid concerns about the coronavirus spread in Alaska.

Celebration is one of the largest cultural events in the state, attracting thousands of dancers and visitors to Juneau. It is now planned for June 2-5 of 2021.

There are plans to find ways to bring virtual events to the public this year, including a Facebook or Youtube watch party showing Celebration 2018. Sealaska Heritage Institute staff are inviting the public to weigh-in on virtual events at heritage@sealaska.com

Thursday, March 26, 2020

5:50 p.m. –  A third case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Juneau. According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the individual who tested positive is a close contact of one of the other two confirmed cases in Juneau. The City & Borough of Juneau announced the third case in a press release sent out Thursday evening.

12:10 p.m. – The Juneau Assembly is holding a special meeting on Thursday, March 26.  The meeting starts at 6 p.m.  KTOO will not be broadcasting this meeting.

Assembly members will be discussing a lease on the Thane Campground — to provide people experiencing homelessness with an alternative to the shelter at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.  They’ll also be talking about instructions for members of the public who want to call into the meetings.

Members of the public wishing to call in to testify can dial 907-463-5043 up to 15-minutes prior the beginning of the meeting.

  • Callers will hear a message stating they have reached the Alaska Legislative Teleconference System and to stay on the line until they can be assisted by an operator.
  •  Operators will ask the caller to identify their Name and the meeting they are calling for. The caller should provide their name and state that they are calling in for the CBJ Assembly meeting.
  •  Public lines will be muted by default but will be unmuted by CBJ staff when it is that individual’s turn to testify.
  • The Mayor will determine the amount of time allotted to each person based on the number of people calling to testify. The Mayor will ask the caller to identify their name and the agenda topic for which they are providing testimony.
  • The caller will then be asked to stay on the phone after their testimony to answer any questions from the Assembly.
  • Once they have finished providing testimony, callers will be disconnected from the call and encouraged to watch the Facebook Live feed or KTOO radio broadcast so the phone lines can be opened for others who may wish to testify.

11:55 a.m. – The University of Alaska’s Board of Regents is planning to hold weekly meetings to hear how university operations are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re currently scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Fridays beginning March 27.

People can listen online at 1-866-832-7806 with the pin: 8475100. Or they can be streamed online here.  Agendas can be found here.

10:46 a.m. – Capital Transit is making changes to its policies in order to keep riders and drivers safe.

The following changes go into effect as of today:

  • Limiting bus capacity to nine riders
  • Canceling Express Routes 5 and 6
  • Adding additional buses on Routes 3 and 4

Engineering and public works director Robert Barr says residents are asked to use buses only if they absolutely need to for essential travel including:

  • Healthcare appointments and pharmacy visits
  • Grocery shopping
  • Employment at a critical job

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

5:51 p.m. – The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska tweeted an emergency declaration today related to the COVID-19 pandemic for its 31,000 citizens.

The council voted unanimously on the declaration. Tlingit-Haida president Richard J. Peterson approved it this week.

The declaration states that the council will act in the best interests of the tribe to activate an emergency response plan in coordination with federal, state and local governments.

5:13 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau says its giving people late on their water bills a break. Through May 25, the city’s Utility Division will not shutoff water and will waive finance charges.

They still want bills paid on time and in full when possible. Contact the CBJ Revenue Collections to make payment arrangements.

5:05 p.m. – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities says in a news release this afternoon that it’s encouraging its employees to telecommute and that its reduced crew on its ferries at the Ketchikan Shipyard.

It says for employees who cannot telecommute, social distancing measures are in place as well as extra cleaning. The Alaska Marine Highway System has reduced its crew working in the Ketchikan Shipyard by almost half. Ferry workers returning home are expected to self-isolate for 14 days. They are being paid administrative leave, which does not reduce their personal leave banks.

In the release, Transportation Commissioner John MacKinnon said, “Transportation supports our communities, our economy, and our industries — connecting people with essential life, health, commerce and safety access. While we will carry on with our important work for Alaska during these extraordinary circumstances, we will also continue to follow the guidance of our state and federal agencies. It’s worth repeating what many have said, we will get through this challenge – together.”

2:56 p.m. – Gov. Mike Dunleavy plans to hold a panel press conference at 6 p.m. today.

Dunleavy said yesterday the panel would include members of the State Emergency Operations Center, and that they’d highlight ways companies in Alaska are helping fight the coronavirus.

He also said he’d set aside up to an hour for the press conference to let the press ask about “any and every aspect about our battle with this virus.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

5:55 p.m. – Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s latest update is scheduled for 6 p.m. today.

There have been new developments with the virus since the last briefing on Monday. Three new cases were confirmed Tuesday.

Watch the press conference live on this post, the governor’s Facebook or Livestream pages, or on 360 North television.

4:50 p.m. – Juneau’s recycling center will be closed to the public on Wednesday.  It will re-open on Thursday as staff work to make the process better accommodate social distancing.

Starting Thursday, the recycling center asks the public to follow these new guidelines:

  • Weekday mornings (Tuesday-Friday) from 7-9 a.m. will be reserved for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • The facility operating hours will remain Tuesday-Friday from 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • All users must maintain 6 feet of spacing from other users at all times.
  • Painted “lanes” will be added leading to the recycling containers and only person at a time will be allowed in each lane to help keep space between people.

4:45 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau has extended all of its public facility closures.  Both pools, the Mount Jumbo gym, Dimond Park Field House, public libraries, Juneau-Douglas City Museum and the Zach Gordon Youth Center will be closed through May 1.  Treadwell Arena and the Eaglecrest Ski Area are closed or their seasons.

3:26 p.m. – Juneau officials say a second person in the city has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.  The person is currently hospitalized at Bartlett Regional Hospital in the critical care unit.

So far, 39 people have tested positive for the virus in Alaska.

2 p.m. – The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the U.S. Census Bureau to close field offices and delay any door-to-door census interviews until April.  There may be more delays and adjustments as the pandemic develops.

Census packets are still arriving by mail and people can also go online to 2020census.gov to fill out the form.  There is also a phone number available to call on the form, but there will be a long wait because the bureau has reduced its staff to protect them from the pandemic.

So far, 140 million census forms have been mailed out nationwide. So far, the Alaskan response rate is about half of the national average.

1:36 p.m. – The Juneau School District will continue serving meals during spring break.  Any student can pick up breakfast and lunch at any school distribution site.  Spring break meals will be served at:

  • Sayeik: Gastineau Elementary School • 9-11 a.m.
  • Cedar Park Apartments • 11 a.m. – noon
  • Glacier Valley Elementary School • 9 a.m. – noon
  • Harborview Elementary School • 9 a.m. – noon
  • Riverbend Elementary School • 9 a.m. – noon
  • Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School • 9 a.m. – noon
  • Floyd Dryden Middle School • 9 a.m. – noon

Monday, March 23, 2020

10 p.m. – For the next two weeks, residents of Juneau are required to stay home “as much as possible,” and non-essential businesses are closed.

The Juneau Assembly voted on the “hunker down,” order shortly after Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a similar order for the whole state.

Both have exemptions, in Juneau critical businesses related to health care, construction, shipping and home repair are allowed to remain open. But, those businesses must still comply with “social distancing” guideline, like maintaining a 6-foot distance between employees and members of the public.

5:30 p.m. – Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s latest COVID-19 press conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. today.

There have been several new developments with the virus since the last briefing on Friday. Eight new cases were confirmed Saturday. By Sunday night, health officials had confirmed a total of 32 cases across a growing number of Alaska communities. State officials also said yesterday that community transmission appears to be underway in Anchorage.

Watch the press conference live on this post, the governor’s Facebook or Livestream pages, or on 360 North television.

4:45 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will meet tonight,at 5 p.m. to discuss a resolution mandating that people in the borough “hunker down.” That resolution would order people to stay home at much as possible, close “non-critical” businesses to the public and order businesses that do stay open to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The city has contracted with the state’s Legislative Information Offices so that people can call into the meeting. Members of the public who want to testify can call 907-463-5043 up to 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

  • Callers will hear a message stating they have reached the Alaska Legislative Teleconference System and to stay on the line until they can be assisted by an operator.
  • Operators will ask the caller to identify their Name and the meeting they are calling for. The caller should provide their name and state that they are calling in for the CBJ Assembly meeting.
  • Public lines will be muted by default but will be unmuted by CBJ staff when it is that individual’s turn to testify.
  • The Mayor will determine the amount of time allotted to each person based on the number of  people calling to testify.The Mayor will ask the caller to identify their name and the agenda topic for which they are providing testimony.
  • The caller will then be asked to stay on the phone after their testimony to answer any questions from the Assembly.
  • Once they have finished providing testimony, callers will be disconnected from the call and encouraged to watch the Facebook Live feed or listen on KTOO’s radio broadcast so the phone lines can be opened for others who may wish to testify

These instructions for public testimony will also apply to future Regular Assembly Meetings, Special Assembly Meetings, Assembly Committee of the Whole, and Assembly Finance Committee meetings. Members of the public are also encouraged to submit comments in writing beforehand by emailing BoroughAssembly@juneau.org or by filling out the online Assembly Contact Form.

You can listen to the meeting on KTOO at 104.3 or online.  Or, stream it via Facebook Live and the city’s website.

 

2:15 p.m. – In response to community efforts to provide mask covers for medical personnel at the hospital, Bartlett Regional Hospital has designated Human Resources technician Tiffany Ridle as the mask-making coordinator.

She can be reached at tmridle@bartletthospital.org or 907-796-8418.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

6:30 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will meet on Monday, March 22, at 5 p.m. to discuss a resolution mandating that people in the borough “hunker down.” That resolution would order people to stay home at much as possible, close “non-critical” businesses to the public and order businesses that do stay open to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The meeting will be broadcast via Facebook Live and the city’s website. KTOO will also broadcast the meeting live on the radio and online.

If Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives a press briefing while the assembly meeting is in progress, they will recess until he is done.

Capital City Fire and Rescue Captain Roy Johnston talks to people arriving at Juneau’s International Airport on Saturday, March 21, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. Beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, many passengers arriving at the Juneau International Airport will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

12:21 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly is mandating that anyone traveling to the city from outside of Alaska or from a community that has a confirmed COVID-19 case must self-quarantine for 14 days. Currently, communities in Alaska that would be affected by this order are Anchorage, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Soldotna and Sterling.

There are a number of exemptions for people who are part of “critical” workforces. They can be found on page 13 of this document.  They include:

  • Transportation and logistics
  • Agricultural operations (including fish and fish-processing)
  • Energy – including oil and gas production
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Raw production for manufacturing, including mining and timber
  • Water, wastewater and sanitation
  • Government functions
  • Public safety and first-responders
  • Healthcare and public health
  • Financial Services
  • Communications
  • Defense

The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight and will remain in effect through April 16.

Correction: A previous version of this entry incorrectly named a city with a confirmed case of COVID-19.  It is Sterling, not Seward.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

6:46 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will meet on Sunday, March 22, at 10 a.m. to discuss a resolution mandating that people in the borough “hunker down,” and another mandating that people traveling into the borough must quarantine.  They’ll also discuss the Emergency Operations Center.

The meeting will be broadcast via Facebook Live and the city’s website. KTOO will also broadcast the meeting live on the radio and online.

11:50 a.m. – Juneau’s cold weather shelter has moved into the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. It’s an attempt to address concerns about creating more space for the city’s vulnerable homeless population amid the spread of coronavirus.

The cold weather shelter will continue to operate under the same hours for now — 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. — whenever the temperature is below freezing. The city contract to operate the warming shelter is through April 15, but could be extended if necessary.

11:37 a.m. – Alaska Seaplanes is reducing its spring schedule. The company will no longer fly on Sundays and fliers should reconfirm their bookings as many flight times have changed. Starting March 23, the company will not be accepting cash for flight bookings.

Juneau’s cargo facility will also be closed for business on Sundays.

Friday, March 20, 2020

8:40 p.m. State officials announced Friday that they’re extending school closures through at least May 1.

The school announcement came as the number of known coronavirus cases continues to grow in Alaska. By Friday evening, there were 14 confirmed cases out of more than 700 people tested.

8:30 p.m. – The Juneau Police Department has closed its lobby to the public.  They’ll continue to respond to 9-1-1 calls and reports of serious, in-progress crime. However, calls for police service that don’t require an officer to be physically present will be handled over the phone. Police will continue to patrol throughout the community.

To file a report, Juneau residents can call the main JPD business line (907) 586-0600. Or file one online. 

Namfon Noisai gets her tempoerature checked by Capital City Fire and Rescue's Lily Kincaid during a voluntary screening at the Juneau International Airport on Saturday, March 21, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. Lily Kincaid asks Richard Clarke questions about where he traveled and who he was with before taking his temperature on Saturday, March 21, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. The airport sees multiple daily flights to and from Seattle — one of the epicenters of coronavirus spread in the United States. Passengers arriving at the airport can request to have their temperature checked. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will be advised to contact medical providers and to self-quarantine. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)
Namfon Noisai gets her temperature checked by Capital City Fire and Rescue’s Lily Kincaid during a voluntary screening at the Juneau International Airport on Saturday, March 21, 2020 in Juneau.  (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

1:51 p.m. – The City and Borough of Juneau and Capital City Fire and Rescue are doing voluntary screening for people at Juneau’s International Airport.  Once they land, passengers can get their temperatures checked.  If they have a fever, they’ll be given advice on contacting a medical provider, self-quarantine, and transport.

1:25 p.m. – The U.S. and Canada have announced a month-long restriction on non-essential travel.   The U.S. Department of Homeland security says “essential travel” is U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are traveling for medical reasons, education, necessary work, emergency responses and legal cross-border trade.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

7:50 p.m. –  The Alaska Marine Highway System says it will begin turning away ferry passengers with coronavirus- or flu-like symptoms. That’s in an effort to avoid disruptions or a situation involving potentially infected passengers quarantined on board.

Anyone turned away will be given a full refund.  Additionally, AMHS announced on Wednesday that it would waive cancellation fees until April 8.

7:32 p.m. – Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Canada’s border restrictions are not affecting Alaska’s crossings in Southeast Alaska or the Alaska Highway. That was in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference on Thursday.

“It was really for non essential travel for folks coming from other countries going through the borders and going through Canada but here in Alaska, that being our only neighbor via land, and those four open those four border crossings are still open,” Dunleavy said.

6:43 p.m. – Capital Transit bus service and CAPITAL AKcess paratransit service will be free of charge starting Friday, March 20.

Workers will also be spending more time cleaning and disinfecting the buses. Because buses will now be cleaned on the hour as they’re running through routes, some people may miss transfers and there may be changes to the schedules or service hours.

City officials asked that riders only use the bus if absolutely necessary and – if they do – to practice social distancing.  Additionally, because germs live on surfaces, avoid sitting down or touch bus surfaces with your hands and if you have flu symptoms, do not ride the bus.

2:45 p.m. – City-owned Eaglecrest ski area will suspend operations starting Friday, March 20. Juneauites can still visit the mountain for sledding and touring, but the buildings and the lifts will be closed. Visitors are advised to continue practicing social distancing while on the mountain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

2:15 p.m. – Juneau’s electric utility, AEL&P, is suspending late fees and won’t disconnect people’s power for non-payments in light of financial hardships related to the coronavirus pandemic. This is effective March 18, 2020, and remains in effect until further notice.

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