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The Mat-Su Borough is on board with Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s plan to reopen sectors of Alaska’s struggling economy.

Mayor Vern Halter and Borough Assembly members expressed approval of the governor’s April 24 amended health mandates which allows restaurants, retail shops, personal services, fishing charters, childcare, day camps and gyms to open under certain conditions.

The statement notes that as the Mat-Su economy begins to slowly open, the state will continue tracking positive cases, testing and healthcare capacity, while performing investigations on all positive cases.

“All Mat-Su Borough residents have an obligation to promote public health and should continue to follow guidance regarding handwashing, staying six feet apart from others, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, and correctly and effectively using cloth face coverings,” borough leadership said. “The State encourages those who are at high risk of infection to continue to self-quarantine.”

The statement ended by encouraging those with virus symptoms to contact their health care provider.

Dunleavy said he anticipates that Alaska’s low number of COVID-19 cases will likely tick up as the economy reopens but he emphasized that the goal was to ensure the continued ability to care for ill Alaskans. With a current abundance of hospital beds, medical supplies and equipment, as well increased capacity to test and track outbreaks, the governor’s team feels confident in incrementally opening the state.

As of May 4, Alaska reported 370 COVID-19 cases with 263 recovered. There have been just 37 total hospitalizations with 12 currently hospitalized. Nine Alaskans have died from COVID-19.

For more information about testing, contact the Mat-Su Borough Emergency Operations Center at (907) 861-8500.

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Mat-Su leaders agree with governor’s move to start reopening Alaska

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.