Alaska’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, speaks to legislators during a briefing on the state’s preparations for the new coronavirus on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska health Commissioner Adam Crum and Zink, briefed state legislators Wednesday on preparations. Zink urged calm and kindness and encouraged people to get flu shots, to help keep the state’s limited capacity health care system from being overwhelmed. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Alaska’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, speaks to legislators during a briefing on the state’s preparations for the new coronavirus on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska health Commissioner Adam Crum and Zink, briefed state legislators Wednesday on preparations. Zink urged calm and kindness and encouraged people to get flu shots, to help keep the state’s limited capacity health care system from being overwhelmed. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Alaska raises preparedness level around new coronavirus

Tests for COVID-19 in Alaska currently are being prioritized for people considered at higher risk.

  • By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press
  • Thursday, March 5, 2020 12:44am
  • News

By Becky Bohrer

Associated Press

JUNEAU — Alaska raised its level of preparedness Wednesday as cases of the new coronavirus have emerged on the West Coast, including in Washington.

State health Commissioner Adam Crum told reporters the new level of heightened awareness involves analyzing where officials are in their plans and making “sure we’re ready for go time.’” Crum and the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, briefed legislators Wednesday on preparations. Zink urged calm and kindness and encouraged people to get flu shots, to help keep the state’s limited capacity health care system from being overwhelmed.

Crum said the Dunleavy administration is working on ways to help people get early refills on prescription medications in case those are needed as part of individual preparations. Zink said tests for COVID-19 in Alaska currently are being prioritized for people considered at higher risk of being able to spread the illness. She said she has spoken with colleagues in Washington state to learn from their experiences.

The Alaska health department has said steps one can take to help prevent contracting the flu or a cold also help prevent getting COVID-19, including washing hands often, avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching one’s face with unwashed hands and staying home when sick.


• By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press


More in News

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
StoryWalk is back after vandalism

The installation was discontinued last September after someone damaged the poles and podium plexiglass

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Most Read