An Anchor Point man over the age of 80 has died from complications related to COVID-19, marking the 10th Alaskan to die from the disease, according to data from the state Department of Health and Social Services.
Announced the same day, Gov. Mike Dunleavy outlined a plan Wednesday to continue reopening the state, noting in a meeting with reporters the importance of getting the state’s economy back on its feet.
The first phase of the governor’s plan, which went into effect less than two weeks ago, lifted an intrastate travel ban, condoned limited dine-in restaurant service and opened hair salons, nail shops and other personal service businesses.
Since April 24, the effective date for phase one, the state has seen 33 new cases of the disease.
The changes announced Wednesday allow social gatherings –– currently limited to 20 individuals –– of up to 50 people.
Additionally, businesses currently allowed to operate at 25% capacity, including hair salons, nail salons and other personal care services, will be allowed to bump up to 50% capacity. This will allow increased capacity for restaurants as well, Dunleavy noted, including the allowance of walk-ins.
Restaurants were previously limited to service of customers by reservation only to avoid clusters of people waiting for a table.
Bars, theaters, gyms and other entertainment facilities will be able to open to 25%, according to Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.
When asked about enforcement of new mandates, Crum noted that the state does not have a plan to monitor businesses for adherence.
“It’s about being a good neighbor,” Crum said, noting that enforcement will largely rely on self-policing.
The governor noted that new guidance regarding child care facilities and overnight camps will be released in the coming days.
The changes reflect the lower numbers in confirmed cases, Dunleavy said.
“If the numbers hold, we’ll be moving quickly to the next step, which is going to really open up the economy,” he added.
This second phase of the governor’s plan to roll back health mandates and business limitations goes into effect Friday at 8 p.m.
The state’s health department reported one new case of COVID-19 Wednesday in Tok, marking the first case in that community and bringing the state’s total to 372 cases to date. This is a cumulative number. The state reports that 284 of those individuals have recovered.
The state has performed 23,665 tests to date.