A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough extends disaster declaration

The declaration is extended to 90 days.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday extended the borough’s local disaster declaration for 90 days as a result of the new coronavirus. A weeklong declaration was issued Monday.

The disaster declaration was issued “due to the current and expected imminent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of the Kenai Peninsula Borough outside of the cities,” the resolution said.

At Tuesday’s meeting, audience members were encouraged to sit 6 feet apart and those testifying were asked to wipe down the podium’s microphone button with a sanitary wipe and use hand sanitizer.

The resolution to extend the disaster period passed unanimously.

The declaration puts the borough’s emergency response plan in place and requests assistance from the state. The declaration may also give eligible residents the opportunity to apply for assistance for their affected businesses when programs are available.

In a Wednesday statement made on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management website, Mayor Charlie Pierce urged residents to adhere to Dunleavy’s new health mandates issued Tuesday night. One mandate requires travelers returning from high-risk countries to Alaska to self-quarantine and monitor symptoms for 14 days. The other mandate closes dine-in services in restaurants and cafes and limits food service businesses to takeout and delivery, while also closing bars, gyms and entertainment venues, like bingo halls, bowling alleys and movie theaters.

“Our incident management team (IMT) is planning ahead to anticipate needed resources and making sure that the correct information is getting to the residents,” Pierce said in his statement. “I realize that these latest mandates are going to create significant impacts, but I urge all residents to take a moment to inform yourself of how significant this virus is to the health and well being of our elders and folks at risk. Let’s practice prevention and get through this together.”

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