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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions have been compiled from questions asked during press briefings, emailed to or asked on 2-1-1.

For questions about COVID-19 vaccines in Alaska: Please visit the DHSS COVID-19 Vaccine Information for All Alaskans webpage.

For basic COVID-19 questions: Please visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage

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Critical Infrastructure Questions

Posted on March 23, 2021

With the exception of fully vaccinated individuals, workers who have to be in close contact with others, such as the production floor of a seafood processing plant or processing vessel, should not be permitted to work while under Close Contact Quarantine.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated (more than two weeks have elapsed since their final vaccine shot) do not have to observe close contact quarantine after being potentially exposed.

Vessel captains, site managers and other employers are strongly cautioned against allowing any other workers and crewmembers to continue to work while under quarantine after they have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. Employers should bear in mind that Close Contact Quarantine is different and more important than Entry Travel Quarantine, when it is not known whether or not someone has been exposed.

The CDC guidance which allows CI workers who have been identified as close contacts to an infectious individual to continue working was intended to allow businesses to continue providing essential services like power, water and emergency healthcare. Allowing exposed individuals to continue work carries inherent risk, and should really be done as a last resort.

When determining whether or not a Critical Infrastructure Worker is allowed to work during Close Contact Quarantine the following should be considered:

1. Is the close contact specifically critical to the operations? Individuals who can stay home should stay home.

2. If a close contact does have to work, could their responsibilities be temporarily changed in a way that reduces their contact with others? Is there a way to eliminate their contact with others who are higher risk (for example, older adults)?

Close contacts who have to continue working should adhere to the following practices:

  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a fever or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
  • Close contacts who must continue working are still under quarantine outside their working hours.
  • Negative test results may potentially be used to shorten the duration of Close Contact Quarantine.

If you have any questions, please call the Alaska Section of Epidemiology at 907-269-8000.

Posted on March 23, 2021

If you are a uniformed crewmember arriving to an air terminal and going immediately into controlled lodging for crew rest before flying the following day, you do not have to fill out a Traveler Declaration Form or go through the arrival screening. If you are returning home for a longer break and will not be in controlled lodging or departing the following day, it is strongly recommended that you fill out a Traveler Declaration Form and go through entry screening. You do not need to test unless it is required by your airline.

UPDATED 3/22/21
Screening for all domestic cargo flight crews is strongly encouraged and available at the airport at no cost. All flight crews arriving to the State of Alaska directly from a foreign airport must still meet the Federal requirement for a pre-travel test, put forth by the CDC. Air Crew members should still be following the guidance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 20009.

UPDATED 3/22/21

Testing for all non-resident travelers is strongly encouraged and available at the airport at no cost.

Posted on November 16, 2020

If employers have set up contracts for critical infrastructure with contractors entirely separate from the State contract, then contractors may still test those critical infrastructure travelers. Employers are encouraged to set up setting for their employees.

Once filed with the State, Community/Workforce Protective Plans (CWPPs) developed by private sector businesses will remain in place until rescinded or revised by the submitting company. CI businesses strongly encouraged to submit a CWPP, but are no longer required to do so under the current Health Advisories. 

Updated on March 23, 2021

The preferred method for arriving workers to get tested would be through a program arranged by the employer through an occupational health contractor such as Beacon or Capstone who offer services for testing upon arrival. If there are no options available through the employer, arriving CI workers can be tested free of charge at the State-funded test sites in the airports.

UPDATED 3/22/21
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.  

UPDATED 3/22/21

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.

UPDATED 3/22/21
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.

UPDATED 3/22/21
For the purposes of travel to and within Alaska, all commercial fishing vessels, tenders, processors, catcher-processors and setnet sites are considered “seafood harvesting facilities” under the Food and Agriculture Section of the Federal guidance. All crewmembers, harvesters and inspectors aboard those vessels and sites are considered CI Workers.

UPDATED 3/22/21

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.

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