Covid-19 Travel Information for Mat-Su Visitors
The Mat-Su Valley is the perfect basecamp for an Alaska vacation - but not now. Our primary concern is for the safety of our community, our residents and our partners. When it is safe to travel, we'll be here - and we promise it will be worth the wait. Please stay home, be safe and stay healthy while we try to "flatten the curve." We are all in this together.
Current statuses and closures
On March 27, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a "shelter in place" mandate for the entire state, taking effect at 5 p.m. March 28. All persons in Alaska, except for those engaged in essential health care services, public government services, and essential business activities, are mandated to remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing. Additionally, all businesses within Alaska, except those listed in Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the state except minimum basic operations. This includes all for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations. In a separate mandate issued March 27, all in-state travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited, except as necessary to meet critical personal needs or work in critical infrastructure jobs. Critical personal needs include buying, selling, or delivering groceries and home goods; obtaining fuel for vehicles or residential needs; transporting family members for out-of-home care, essential health needs, or for purposes of child custody exchanges; receiving essential health care; providing essential health care to a family member; obtaining other important goods; and engaging in subsistence activities. Full details of these current mandates can be found at the State of Alaska Department of Health and Human Service's Covid-19 Health Mandates web site.
There are 85 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Alaska as of 6 a.m. Alaska time on March 28, including two in the Mat-Su Borough.
The Mat-Su Borough highly recommends social distancing and gatherings of no more than 10 people. Additionally, effective March 16, 2020, most Borough facilities/buildings will be closed to public access indefinitely, including the following:
- Swimming pools,
- Skating Rinks,
- all Borough Libraries (Palmer & Wasilla Libraries are operated by their cities),
- the Borough Admin Building (call 861-7801 for issues),
- the Operations and Maintenance building (call the Road Hotline at 861-7755 for issues),
- the Capital Projects building,
- all Public Safety buildings (Borough Emergency Services will continue without interruption.)
- Government Peak Chalet
The City of Wasilla has closed the Menard Sports Complex, the Wasilla Museum and Visitor Center and the Wasilla Public Library indefinitely, along with City Hall. The Palmer Public Library is also closed indefinitely. Palmer City Hall is closed indefinitely.
On March 17, the state of Alaska issued a health mandate that closes all bars, breweries, restaurants, food, beverage kiosks, trucks, and other establishments serving food within the State of Alaska to dine-in services, as well as recreational venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys. Many Mat-Su restaurants still offer take-out or delivery, and we encourage you to use them to help support the local economy. Here's a full list of options courtesy of Mat-Su CHARR (Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association). In addition, the Alaska CHARR organization has organized a new web site, www.carryoutak.com, that highlights restaurants around the state that are now offering delivery and take-out options. The list continues to grow daily.
As of March 18, the Alaska Railroad has suspended services for the Aurora Winter Train through April 30, 2020.
Health tips for travelers
Regardless of destination, travelers should take precautions. Follow these steps, outlined by the CDC:
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times.
- Avoid close contact to anyone who is sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue in the trash.
- Disinfect all frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Be aware of the latest travel advisories form the CDC and the U.S. Department of State
Note that older adults and people with underlying chronic conditions are at a much higher risk for developing serious complications from Covid-19.
- Mat-Su Borough Covid-19 website
- City of Wasilla
- City of Palmer
- Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- National Institutes of Health