FAQ's

Please check out the FAQs below. If there is anything we did not cover yet, please let us know!

Stay Healthy Lake and Peninsula People!

In accordance with Federal guidance, clergy members are considered Critical Infrastructure Workers for travel purposes, as are individuals supporting the Minimum Basic Operations for houses of worship. Other faith-based organizations may qualify to travel as CI Workers, depending on the function or service that they are providing, such as the distribution of relief supplies for communities in need or providing medical care.

For the purposes of travel to and within Alaska, all commercial fishing vessels, tenders, processors, catcher-processors and set-net sites are considered “seafood harvesting facilities” under the Food and Agricultures Section of the Federal guidance. All crewmembers, harvesters, and inspectors aboard those vessels and sites are considered CI workers.

For the purposes of travel to and within Alaska, all mineral extraction is considered critical, and included under the Critical Manufacturing Section of the Federal guidance. All miners and support personnel are considered CI Workers.

For the purposes of travel to and within Alaska, home construction and remodeling is considered “Workers performing housing and commercial construction related activities” under the Residential/Shelter Facilities, Housing and Real Estate, and Related Services Section of the Federal guidance. All workers engaged in home construction or renovation, to including supporting services, are considered CI Workers.

Active duty servicemembers, DoD Civilians on TAD/TDY orders and members of the Alaska Organized Militia (AKOM) are considered Critical Infrastructure Workers. DoD dependents on PCS orders are traveling in support of a Critical Personal Need.

Active duty servicemembers and DoD Civilians on TAD/TDY orders and Alaska Organized Militia members on Federal active duty orders will follow the travel guidelines in the DoD Force Health Protection Guidance, Supplement 12 (Travel) and the appropriate service-level guidance.

AKOM members on State active duty orders will follow the travel guidelines from DMVA.

All DoD dependents on PCS travel and all service members and dependents on personal travel will follow the guidelines of Health Order 003 – Interstate and International Travel for Alaska resident travel and the appropriate service-level and installation guidance.

Some people with disabilities may not be able to wear masks due to health and safety concerns. Individuals who state they have a disability that prevents them from safely wearing a mask should be allowed to enter a health care facility if doing so does not place others at risk or offered reasonable modifications to access the health care services. Reasonable modifications may include requiring use of a separate area for entrance/exit, exam, or treatment; scheduling these patients as the last appointments of the day; or increasing provider PPE.

Please note modifications may not be an option if:

  • It would fundamentally alter the service provided.
  • It would create undue burden such as significant difficulty or expense.
  • The individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of staff and/or patients.

An accepted proof of Alaska residency is an employment verification letter on employer letterhead stating traveler is moving to Alaska for employment.

Travelers unable to get testing prior to travel are encouraged to purchase an at home test kit. There are FDA-authorized home-collection COVID tests for people who want to take a test at home and mail it to a company to get results, such as:

No, 14 day quarantine is not an option for non-residents. If the non-resident has tested within 72 hours of departure to Alaska and is awaiting results, they can travel to their final destination and self-quarantine until they receive their test results. They will need to be able to access wifi/cell service to receive their results while quarantining.

If test results are pending, you are able to travel directly to your final destination and quarantine in place. This location can be any lodging, residence, RV, campsite or wilderness as long as you have cell service/internet access so that you can receive your results.  You must be able to follow the quarantine requirements at your quarantine location and have a space separated from other people.

Every traveler into Alaska is required to fill out a three question self-isolation plan in the Alaska Travel Portal at https://www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com/. This allows travelers to consider their plan for what they will do if their test results return positive while in Alaska.

A violation of a state COVID-19 Health Order may subject a fishing vessel to an order to cease operations and/or a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation. In addition to the potential civil fines noted above, a person or organization that fails to follow the state COVID-19 Health Order designed to protect the public health from this dangerous virus and its impact may, under certain circumstances, also be criminally prosecuted for Reckless Endangerment. These fines may be imposed by Federal, State, or local authorities.

No. However, Local communities may enact travel restrictions (but cannot require automatic quarantine or measures that prevent travel for: Critical Personal Needs or the conduct of Essential Services/Critical Infrastructure).

Check before you go! Many communities have set up their own travel rules. You may check the matrix for Lake and Peninsula villages at :_________________________

The health order states that strict social distancing should occur after a traveler has arrived with one negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure until 14 days after arrival in Alaska, or until a negative result is returned from a second COVID-19 test taken 5-14 days after arrival.

Here’s what these travelers need to do to practice strict social distancing:

  • You may be in an outdoor public place, but stay six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household and wear a face covering.
  • You may arrange curbside shopping or have food delivery.
  • Please do not enter restaurants, bars, gyms, community centers, sporting facilities (i.e., ice rinks, gymnasiums, sports domes), office buildings, school or daycare facilities.
  • Do not participate in any group activities, including sporting events and practices, weddings, funerals, or other gatherings.

At a minimum, travelers would be practicing strict social distancing at least the first 5 days after arrival and until a second negative result is returned. This is different than a quarantine when you are a close contact to a known COVID patient. In that situation, a full 14-day quarantine is needed and there is no test-based strategy to shorten this period.

A test is not required before traveling from a village to Anchorage or a large city. Once in the city practice strict social distancing and test within 72 hours of returning to the village. Testing sites are available in Anchorage. To find the closest one

Contact your clinic or health aide. If you live in a village without a health aide, contact Kanakanak Hospital at 1-800-478-5201.

The public health nurse will be contacting you if you identified as a close contact. If you have not been contacted, but believe you are at risk, contact your clinic or health aide. If you live in a village without a health aide, contact Kanakanak Hospital at 1-800-478-5201.

In all situations, the best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

There is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and how it spreads. Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).

It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.

These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on itand then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection, however, almost never causes illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

Once the imitation infection goes away, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes, as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that disease in the future. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person infected with a disease just before or just after vaccination could develop symptoms and get a disease, because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

ABC10 medical expert and Roseville Physician Dr. Tom Hopkins says the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines are "projected at this point to serve as a seasonal vaccine as we don't know how individuals will respond to it with long term versus short term immunity."

According to other medical experts, because the COVID-19 vaccination is brand new, only time will tell how long the immunity lasts and since there are different pharmaceutical companies making them, there may be a difference in each vaccine's long term effectiveness. In the short term, all of them have been deemed safe and effective.

But, long term, as a hypothetical, the Pfizer vaccine could last a year where the Moderna could be eight months. Dr. Payal Kohli, ABC10's medical expert also says "antibodies can wane over time, as early as 2-3 months, and reinfection is a possibility. If a vaccine immunity behaves like natural immunity, then we'll likely have to get it every year like a flu shot

COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. You should not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated.

However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.

Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. Therefore, people with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired.

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection.

Regarding vaccination, we won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

There is not enough information currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home.  CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
  • Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.

However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and learn when to seek emergency medical attention.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Cleaning with soap and water or a detergent removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting with a household disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARs-CoV-2external icon kills germs on the surface. By disinfecting or killing germs on a surface after cleaning the surface, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. For more information review cleaning and disinfection recommendations for facilities and  homes.

Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. See If You Have Pets for more information about pets and COVID-19.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s  Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Community mitigation is a set of actions that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. The goal of community mitigation in areas with local COVID-19 transmission is to slow its spread and to protect all individuals, especially those at increased risk for severe illness, while minimizing the negative impacts of these strategies. For more information, see  Community Mitigation Framework.

There are several actions that individuals and communities can take to help reduce the chance that they, their families and friends, and their communities get COVID-19. In general, the more cases spreading in your community, the more likely it will spread to you or your family. Also, the more people an individual interacts with, and the longer each interaction lasts, the higher the risk of viral spread. Location can be a factor, too, with outdoor activities generally being less risky than indoor activities.

Individuals can take the following community mitigation actions:

  • Wear a mask (with some exceptions) when in public settings or around others not living in the same household
  • Follow  healthy hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing
  • Practice  social distancing
  • Stay home when sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily

Communities can take the following actions:

  • Promote behaviors that prevent spread
  • Maintain healthy environments
  • Ensure institutions in the community are practicing appropriate precautions
  • Prepare for when someone gets sick
  • Close businesses and schools, and limit other services

For more information, see  Community Guidance, Community Mitigation, and  Community Mitigation Framework.