From:                                   Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (GOV sponsored)

Sent:                                    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:39 AM

To:                                        SOA All employees

Subject:                                COVID-19 Update

 

Follow Up Flag:                   Follow up

Flag Status:                          Flagged

 

Dear State Employees,

 

I thank you for your continued service to our great state in the midst of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. I am both humbled and honored to serve the State of Alaska alongside such dedicated individuals.

 

Alaska had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 last week in Anchorage, and just last evening two (2) additional travel related cases were announced in Fairbanks. While unfortunate, it comes as no surprise, as we have been preparing for this reality since January when the outbreak first began to spread around the world. Members of my administration have been working diligently with the many agencies and individuals responding to COVID-19, including our congressional delegations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Aviation Administration, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, local governments around the state, and the medical community. I am confident in my team’s capabilities and their ability to respond to this rapidly changing situation. I assure each of you that we will provide you with regular updates.

 

My office, along with the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Administration, will be providing this newsletter and other updates to keep you safe and informed on the latest developments regarding this disease. If immediate action is required, your management team will promptly inform you. Please use the information in this newsletter as a guide to keep you, your coworkers and your families safe and to limit the spread of this virus.


In the coming weeks and months, challenges will doubtless mount. We will face grueling tests – as individuals, as team members, and as Alaskans. Your service during these uncertain hours will likely comprise the most impactful moments of your career.

 

YOU are the state of Alaska – your offices, divisions and departments.  Know that YOU are deeply appreciated by myself and each commissioner and most importantly, by your fellow Alaskans. We will do everything in our power to look out for you as you look out for all Alaskans. With your unwavering commitment and relentless efforts, we will keep our state moving forward and weather this health crisis together.

 

Sincerely,

Governor Mike Dunleavy

 

 

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services:

The State of Alaska has seen its second and third cases of COVID-19 and we all need to continue preparing for more cases in the near future. There are many simple, everyday preventative measures we all can do to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. For some of the actions listed below, you may have already made the changes or it’s something you’ve been doing even before this pandemic began. Other items on the list might take some practice. What’s important to remember is that your individual actions matter and implementing these activities are all up to you. Washing your hands, properly covering your cough or sneezes, practicing social distancing and staying home when you are sick will help everyone stay healthy. Every Alaskan who makes these changes helps mitigate the spread of this virus across our state, which could save the lives of your fellow Alaskans.

 

Those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 include people who are 60 years or older and anyone who has a serious chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. If you or a loved one fall into this group, read and follow this guidance from the CDC: If You Are at Higher Risk.

 

We ask that everyone take time to review the information in the CDC’s guidance on community mitigation that provides useful strategies for how to protect people in a variety of settings. Another good resource is to become familiar with What Every American and Community Can Do Now to Decrease the Spread of the Coronavirus. The posters address ways to keep workplaces, schools, homes and commercial establishments safe and are easily printed so you can post them in your community.

Here are some quick takeaways that you can do right now to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Practice good hygiene and take these precautions:

Visit coronavirus.alaska.gov to find up-to-date information for all Alaskans regarding COVID-19.

 

Alaska Department of Administration:

As we ask you to make changes in your life to help protect yourself, other Alaskans and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are several changes and adaptations that the Department of Administration is doing that you might see in your workplace. As these changes are implemented, remember we are all taking these steps together in hopes of keeping Alaska as safe as possible.

 

  1. Initiating telework options for SOA employees on a large scale. This includes identifying needs and acquiring equipment, training, implementation guidance for departments, and conducting a pilot program with select divisions and offices throughout the state in the coming week.
  2. At the direction of the Governor’s Office, compiling and reviewing telework contingency plans requested from all departments.
  3. Producing and distributing email advisories (found here) that provide specific direction on topics such as: workplace hygiene and COVID-19 prevention, handwashing, frequently asked questions about telecommuting, operational and workplace guidance, and COVID-19 resources for state employees.
  4. Enhancing sanitation protocols using CDC guidance to clean and disinfect public buildings that DOA manages. This includes increased cleanings and placement of additional sanitizer dispensers.
  5. Researching how to effectively implement physical barriers to protect state employees who directly interact with the public in restricted areas (for example, DMV public service windows)

Visit http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/directorsOffice/covid19/ to find up-to-date information for all employees of the State of Alaska.