Alaska COVID-19 digest, April 7, 2020

State of Alaska coronavirus case count

As of April 6, 2020, there are 191 Alaskans who have tested positive for COVID-19. Six new cases were identified during the evening press briefing, with two cases in Anchorage, one in Eagle River, one in Petersburg and one in Soldotna. New cases are reported between 12 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. the previous day, and are reflected on the State of Alaska COVID-19 response page each day at noon. (Editor's note: the count was updated at noon on April 7, with 22 new cases to 213 total. Breakdowns by age were not provided.)

Of the new cases reported on April 6, four are male and two are female. One case is a child under age 10; two are adults age 40 to 49; one is an adult aged 50 to 59; and one is an adult aged 70 to 79; and one case is an adult over age 80. There were no new deaths reported, but a total of six Alaskans have succumbed to the disease.

The governor’s COVID-19 webpage can be accessed at It is updated daily, or as quickly as possible as conditions change around the state.

Ahead of holidays, State of Alaska clarifies mandates for religious services

As Alaskans prepare for Easter or Passover celebrations, it is important that residents adhere to guidelines put in place for protection from COVID-19, state officials said yesterday.

COVID-19 Health Mandate 11: Social Distancing, Item I.5 prohibits private and public gatherings of non-household members, regardless of the number of people involved. This includes, but is not limited to, weddings, faith gatherings, graduations and funeral events.

However, the Dept. of Health and Social Services is allowing certain activities related to religious ceremonies and activities. These include live-streaming of religious services; “drive-in” religious services; and Easter basket assembly and/or delivery.

A full description of guidelines, and all mandates related to the novel coronavirus in Alaska, can be found on the State of Alaska’s DHSS website:

Create a care plan in case of illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising older adults and those with underlying medical conditions to create a plan of care as part of their personal disaster plan kit.

A care plan summarizes an individual’s health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, emergency contacts and end-of-life care options (for example, advance directives), according to the CDC coronavirus website.

Individuals should complete a care plan in consultation with their doctor, and if needed, with help from a family member or home nurse aide.

The CDC offers a sample plan on its website, along with additional conversation starters to aid older adults with crafting their wishes in a comprehensive, individual manner.

North Slope Borough takes control of RavnAir assets

Mayor Harry Brower of the North Slope Borough yesterday seized possession of all RavnAir Group aircraft, equipment and crew in an effort to “ensure residents have food, medical supplies and medical transport,” the borough order stated. The order also said that the North Slope Borough could take possession of “intangible assets,” like security codes and leases.

Ravn had been operating ground operations related to mail sorting and cargo activities in communities like Utqiagvik and Deadhorse, and the sudden stop in service alarmed borough managers who worried residents would not be able to access mail or medical care.

RavnAir Group had announced recently that passenger revenue had declined “90%” due to COVID-19 concerns, causing the company to file for bankruptcy and grounding all of its 72 aircraft.

Brower said the order would be lifted when an agreement was reached for shared use of the RavnAir Group facilities within the North Slope borough.