Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued eight new health mandates on Sunday in response to the state’s growing number of COVID-19 cases. Several are similar to mandates the state has leveled in the past.
Seven out of the eight went into effect on Monday, when Dunleavy’s new 30-day emergency declaration kicked in. The other mandate, which deals with intrastate travel, partly went into effect on Monday and partly goes into effect on Nov. 21.
The delayed part requires anyone who lives on the road or ferry system to get a negative test within 72 hours of traveling anywhere off the road or ferry system.
The part in place on Monday states that local communities can continue to enforce travel restrictions if they so choose. The only rules are that they can’t impede the movement of law enforcement workers, people returning home, construction workers, subsistence hunters, critical personnel or infrastructure workers, or restrict commercial fishing operations in any way that exceeds what the state already has in place.
Another mandate extends provisions of Senate Bill 241, the law the Alaska Legislature passed in April to extend Dunleavy’s original emergency mandate. The order allows health care workers who are licensed elsewhere to get an expedited license to come work in Alaska. It also allows doctors and nurses to examine and diagnose patients through telehealth without first doing an in-person exam with the patient.
Mandate number six addresses critical infrastructure needs, while mandate four allows for the state to create a temporary isolation program using hotel rooms, college dorms or other buildings for homeless people, front line workers who don’t want to expose their families, and others who need temporary shelter.
Another order allows shareholder meetings for nonprofit boards and corporations to meet remotely. A final mandate permits holding charitable raffles and lotteries online.