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Infectious Disease
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What Alaskans need to know

Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Alaska. As the State of Alaska eases restrictions and reopens our economy, it is especially important that everyone continues with basic prevention measures.

If we all work together, we can keep the number of COVID-19 cases low so people can get back to work and begin to be out in the community more. If the number of cases begins to rise, restrictions may need to be reinstated. So please, everyone do your part!

Every Alaskan should continue to:


Testing for COVID-19 has expanded in Alaska and is now available in more communities across the state. If you are experiencing symptoms— even mild ones – isolate yourself immediately and call your doctor, local public health nurse or tribal health organization to ask about a test. 

Don’t go to a clinic or hospital without calling ahead first. This allows the facility to take precautions to protect their staff and other patients. Reach out to your healthcare provider immediately if you suspect COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease in Alaska. 

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology or the Section of Public Health Nursing gets in touch with the person who tested positive and their close contacts to advise them on the need for quarantine or isolation.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • cough

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • fever

  • chills

  • shivering with chills

  • muscle pain

  • headache

  • sore throat

  • new loss of taste or smell

  • diarrhea

  • fatigue

  • nausea

  • rash

  • runny nose or increased sputum (phlegm) production

Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

How does the virus spread?

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneeze. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact (within six feet of someone for more than 10 minutes). If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, stay home, limit your contact with others, and call your health care provider to talk about how to monitor yourself for symptoms and when to get tested.

Special considerations

Older adults (65 and older), those living in a nursing home or a long-term care facility and anyone with an underlying medical condition needs to continue their best efforts at reducing their risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

  • Stay home as much as possible.

  • Ask others to do errands for you.

  • Have enough household items and groceries on hand – or have them delivered.

  • Monitor your health and contact a local health care provider for testing at the first sign that you may be sick.

Those at high risk for severe illness include people with lung or liver disease, asthma, heart conditions, diabetes or those who are very obese or immunocompromised.

We’re in this together. We all need to keep working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

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This information has been translated and is available in our multi-lingual resources.

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