Governor Issues COVID-19 Health Mandate Closing Public Dine-in Establishments Serving Food or Beverages; Pick-up Service Allowed With Restrictions
March 17, 2020
The Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration signed by Governor Mike Dunleavy on March 11, 2020 provides for health mandates to be issued when deemed necessary by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Chief Medical Officer, the Alaska Division of Public Health, and the Office of the Governor.
Mandate 3.1 - By order of the Governor, beginning March 18 at 5 p.m., and continuing until April 1 at 5 p.m., the following mandates are in effect:
With the goal of minimizing in-person interaction in enclosed spaces, effective March 18 at 5 p.m. all bars, breweries, restaurants, food and beverage kiosks or trucks, and other establishments serving food or beverages within the State of Alaska shall be closed to the public dine-in service.
All buffets and salad bars are closed to self-service. A copy of this order, or a sign communicating the closure information, shall be prominently posted by the person having control of the establishment.
Places of public accommodation are encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.
In offering food or beverage, a place of public accommodation subject to this section may permit up to five members of the public at one time in the place of public accommodation for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least 6 feet apart from one another while on premises.
All entertainment facilities shall be closed to the public, including theaters, gyms and fitness centers, bowling alleys and bingo halls.
The restrictions do not apply to any of the following:
These measures are being implemented to protect all Alaskans and the DHSS appreciates the public and business community’s understanding of these mandates in an effort to mitigate the impacts of this virus.
Mandate 4 - Also Tuesday evening, he State of Alaska issued its fourth health mandate.
Higher Risk: If you have traveled from an area with widespread, ongoing community spread such as Europe, China, and other countries (i.e., a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice Area) and are entering Alaska within the past 14 days you must:
Medium Risk: If you have traveled anywhere outside of Alaska, (including the rest of the United States) within the past 14 days you must:
Health Guidance for Returning Travelers in the Higher and Medium Risk Groups
All Alaskans should follow previous guidance including regular hand washing, cleaning surfaces and avoiding large gatherings (March 13 COVID-19 Health Alert: Recommendations for Keeping Communities Safe).
Child care facilities
Tuesday afternoon, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services recommended (not a mandate) that child care facilities stay open if they safely can do so. DHSS does not want children to be cared for by elders, because people aged greater than 60 years are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Employers are encouraged to talk to their workforce. The DHSS stated that children, while they may carry the disease, get sick from COVID-19 much less frequently than adults.
Until further notice, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services recommend that every child care site adhere to the following recommendations:
Families should consider alternative child care opportunities, if possible.
Long-term services, senior centers, adult day services
Tuesday, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) suspended statewide, all long-term services and supports that occur in congregate settings, including senior centers, adult day services, and any site-based day habilitation or supported employment activities where individuals gather together. DHSS is working with federal partners to determine if services may be offered in a more flexible manner within home settings.
The state recognizes the importance of these settings and the services they provide, but is seeking to prevent harm to those served through the promotion of social distancing. Please continue to follow guidance posted on the State of Alaska COVID-19 website at coronavirus.alaska.gov.
More guidance will be distributed through the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services’ (SDS) email subscriber list for providers and families as updates to service categories can be provided. If you are not yet a member of SDS E-Alerts, sign up here: http://list.state.ak.us/mailman/listinfo/sds-e-news.
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Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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