The Department of Health and Social Services announced nine new cases of coronavirus in Alaska on Friday. Of the new cases, seven outside Anchorage, one outside Kenai and one outside of Juneau.
Two of the individuals diagnosed were men and seven were women, with the youngest aged between 10 and 19 years, and the oldest aged between 60 and 69 years.
With one new stay, the country has recorded a cumulative total of 36 hospitalizations. No new deaths were reported, leaving the number of deaths at nine.
At least 9,450 tests have been carried out, according to the country tracking site, but there is more testing capacity on the way to Alaska, officials said. Alaska’s various sectors and segments will also be opened in different locations, little by little, with the aim of still leveling the curve.
When asked if the aim was to spread the infection to flatten the curve or to prevent and minimize infection until vaccine development, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink’s main goal is to prevent loss of life, whether the death was caused by a coronavirus-related virus or not.
“How we do that and how it will happen is the best challenge,” he said.
However, officials are even eyeing retail as the next sector that is opened, according to Governor Mike Dunleavy. He said Friday that the team was working on a plan and would continue to do so over the weekend so that it might be shared with the public on Monday.
“Alaska is a diverse and complex country,” Dunleavy said. “Alaska is a little different – the size of the continent, not everyone is connected to the road, many communities of the road system, many communities that do not have a strong economic base.
“We will look at Alaska almost as if it was a country of its own when we look at opening up the economic sector,” he said. “If everything goes well, you will see more success through your work.”
This weekend, the country will also see the weeks ahead and what might be done for the current health mandate, Dunleavy said, adding that the country “wants to maintain restrictions on unnecessary travel.”
“I think the Alaska people are pricking needles,” he said, adding that Alaska had controlled the numbers better than any other state. “I can’t argue with people who believe that saying stay away from people, please don’t go to large groups, and reduce some of the things you’ve done throughout your life – yes, it’s difficult. It’s very different.
“We are trying to return as soon as possible,” he said. “We will keep an eye on the numbers, do the best we can, and I understand we are trying to get back to where we were as soon as possible.”
Total of 4,482 small business loans are also granted at the federal level with a value of $ 922 million, by country. Separately, requests that the cannabis industry be included in the upcoming federal aid round have been submitted, officials said.
Labor Department Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter was also present on Friday and said that, this March, there was a 632 percent increase in submissions compared to March 2019. His department had processed more than 40,000 jobless claims, he said, as Alaska was hit as we entered a very busy season, and the economic impact is “shocking.”
“It’s no secret that economic disruption has put pressure on the unemployment system throughout the country,” he said. “Alaska is no different.”
Ledbetter said he had brought 100 additional support staff, although it was unclear whether it was a set of workers or groups that were referred to last week. He said the department works every day to improve and accelerate the application process.
The best option for registering, officials say, is still applying online. The application process will be open to self-employed individuals on Monday. If you work full time and you are considering leaving work to apply for unemployment benefits, you will not be eligible, Ledbetter said.
The new virtual chat feature is also activated on the unemployment insurance application page and since early March, more than 38,000 claims have been paid for total payments of tens of millions of dollars to Alaska, according to DOL.
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