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 May 19, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a complete reopening of the state, effective 8 a.m. May 22. This order removes capacity limits for bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other recreational businesses, and allows them to operate as they had prior to the Covid-19 closures. New travel mandates for travelers entering Alaska are in effect as of June 5. Find out what those mandates are at the state's official web site. Among the requirements are a traveler having a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to traveling to Alaska, or taking a test upon arrival and quarantining until the results are back, or a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine if no negative test can be documented.
There have been 513 confirmed cases (including 127 active cases) of Covid-19 in Alaska as of noon Alaska time on June 2, including 35 in the Mat-Su Borough (currently 15 active). Of those, 376 are considered recovered by the state of Alaska.
Mat-Su Borough facilities/buildings have a modified opening schedule, with limited services and safety protocols in place. The City of Wasilla has closed the Menard Sports Complex, the Wasilla Museum and Visitor Center and the Wasilla Public Library indefinitely, although the library offers curbside pick-up. The Palmer Public Library is also closed indefinitely. Palmer City Hall is closed indefinitely.
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.
The Alaska Railroad has suspended services for the Aurora Winter Train for the rest of the season. The railroad has also announced that the Coastal Classic Train and the Denali Star Train will begin daily scheduled service begins July 1. The Glacier Discovery Train begins daily scheduled service July 3.
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