coronavirus and churches Archives - Alaska Watchman
 

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The Anchorage Assembly will consider whether to terminate sections of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s COVID-19 emergency orders at their upcoming June 2 meeting. A resolution submitted by Assembly Members Suzanne LaFrance, John Weddleton and Jamie Allard calls for a review of the mayor’s emergency proclamations. It notes that the Assembly has the power to terminate emergency orders that it deems no longer necessary. The Assembly will consider the impact of the orders on public health and...

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While Gov. Mike Dunleavy is set to remove all health mandates on businesses, churches and cultural entities by May 22, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz does not plan to let Alaska’s largest city follow the same timeline. During the May 19 Anchorage Assembly meeting he was asked whether Anchorage will take the governor’s lead. “Well, the governor and I have worked very well together on the pandemic response and we are going to continue to do...

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The time has come to move away from fear and hiding from COVID-19 and towards widespread but careful opening of Alaska’s businesses, churches and cultural life, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on May 19. Starting Friday, May 22, businesses and other entities will be allowed to open at 100% capacity while being encouraged to continue health and hygiene advisories. “I’m going to encourage all Alaskans to help our businesses and help our economy in Alaska by...

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The past month has seen a steep decline in the use of medical resources and overall active cases of COVID-19 in Alaska. On May 12 the state reported no new cases of the virus, no new hospitalization and no additional deaths. Over the past 30 days, Alaska has reported just 65 new cases of the virus, while testing nearly 22,000 Alaskans during that same time span. With an overall population of 731,500 residents, Alaska has...

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More churches across Alaska are beginning to reopen under updated health guidelines released on May 8 as part of phase two of reopening the state. As of May 11, Alaska had just 53 active cases of COVID-19. The new guidelines allow for up to 50 people in religious services. “It felt so good to assemble together with a pure conscience,” said Pastor Aaron Richert of Church at the North Pole where the community held two services...

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The ACLU, including the Alaska chapter, claims to be very busy protecting fundamental liberties during the COVID-19 crisis. A series of recent emails from the national group boasts that during the pandemic their attorneys have filed over 100 legal actions for the release of tens of thousands of U.S. prisoners, the implementation of vote-by-mail and the right to kill unborn babies through abortion. On March 18 the Alaska branch claimed it was “actively monitoring” how...

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With extremely low infection and hospitalization rates from COVID-19, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced plans for phase two of reopening segments of Alaska. This allows entertainment and cultural venues to incrementally open as well as bars and fitness centers. Churches and social gathering also have expanded opportunities. “Our numbers are still pretty much the lowest in the country,” Dunleavy said during a May 6 press briefing. “I think we all realize that we don’t want to...

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Last month, the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, banned all religious services as part of the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The ban applied to a drive-in service planned by the On Fire Christian Center on Easter Sunday. On Holy Saturday, Federal District Judge Justin Walker blocked Louisville from enforcing the ban against drive-in services. The judge noted that among the “essential” activities permitted were drive-up liquor pick-up windows, parking in a liquor store...

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Last week U.S. Attorney General William Barr instructed the Department of Justice to be on the lookout for state and local laws that violate the religious liberties of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Barr directed the DOJ to take action to correct these violations if needed. “Even in times of emergency,” Barr said, “when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and...

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With the breakdown of the national food supply chain, the imminent economic depression, healthcare facilities furloughing workers and losing millions, unemployment at record highs, children out of school, domestic abuse on the rise and the three pillars of Alaskan economy (oil, tourism and fishing) in shambles, unfortunately – in time – we the people will be proven right. To kill the economy is to lose lives. It is time to alter the way we approach...