The hard-working men and women of this state will not weather this storm alone.
With a singular focus, the Legislature is exploring every avenue and will dedicate vast resources to support Alaskans during this difficult time.
This support features enhanced unemployment benefits, mortgage assistance, food aid, interest free loans, expanded child and healthcare services, direct aid to communities, and more.
No Alaskan in need will be left behind.
As our nation mobilizes against the coronavirus pandemic, and our leaders enact stringent, life-saving measures, we know that everyday Alaskans are suffering from the economic fallout.
We see this global conflict being fought daily by dedicated nurses, doctors and scientist, as well as Americans engaged in best practices, such as hand washing and social distancing. But a second front exists, one involving paychecks and jobs.
This virus has wreaked havoc on the price of oil, the stock market is in retreat, and now countless workers will go without paychecks as business owners are forced to close. The uncertainty of the next weeks and months will only compound the harm to the private sector of our economy. Without a swift response, this virus could cause long-term damage beyond the health impacts.
Lawmakers are keenly aware of these realities, and Alaskans should rest assured that we are taking action. A bipartisan group of legislators will, in the coming days, provide critical aid to Alaskan workers and business owners. Hard-working men and women – who through no fault of their own are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table – will have a helping hand.
These are extraordinary times, and extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
If we act decisively – and with the help and support of the Alaskan people – we can achieve success on both fronts by ensuring our healthcare professionals are not overwhelmed by the spread of this virus and by alleviating the impacts on everyday Alaskans’ pocketbooks.
During these present difficulties, it’s important we remain calm, listen to the advice of our medical professionals, and do what we can to help our fellow Alaskans.
Help is on the way.
Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner; Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Senator Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, co-chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee
Tax Visit Canceled
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the tax team will not be returning to Bethel this year. ABDC is not open to the public but is still able to provide assistance. ABDC will continue to prepare tax returns at the Anchorage office until further notice. Visit www.abdc.org for instructions and forms. To contact ABDC, please leave a message with your name, phone number and village and we will contact you as soon as possible. (907) 562-0335 • [email protected]. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience
Alaska Business Development Center
2020 Volunteer Tax and Loan Program
Galvin cancels Cama-i Festival visit
In recent weeks, the public health risk posed by Coronavirus (Covid-19) has prompted my campaign to take important steps toward ensuring the safety of not only our staff but the state as a whole.
Therefore, out of an abundance of care and caution, I have decided to cancel my upcoming return to Bethel where I had planned to visit with folks in Southwest Alaska to not only discuss the issues facing our communities, but celebrate what grounds us and makes our people resilient, unique, and powerful.
I am proud of the fast actions and hard decisions made by our community leaders to keep our people safe. As for steps that each one of us can take, we should all follow best practices recommended by the CDC to combat the spread of the virus, including frequent hand-washing (for at least 30 seconds), staying home if you or someone you live with is experiencing flu-like symptoms, and looking after your neighbors (especially the elderly who may need assistance picking up groceries, etc.).
Events like the Cama-i Festival affirm universal good principles of strength of culture, spirit and body, principles that will continue to guide my campaign throughout the coming months. While I am unable to be in Bethel in person next week, I look forward to virtual opportunities to connect with Southwest Alaskans and learn how I can best serve you in Congress.
In a state twice the size of Texas, Alaskans are well versed in creative methods of maintaining our sense of community without being physically present with one another. Nonetheless, I look forward to when it is safe and responsible to come physically together in our mission for enacting positive change in Alaska. Until then, I am grateful for our incredibly dedicated health professionals who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to promote and protect Alaskans’ health.
Alaskans have a long tradition of caring and looking out for one another. It is particularly crucial, at this time, that we continue to ensure the health and safety of our friends and neighbors.
Murkowski Message to Alaskans During COVID-19 Outbreak
As the U.S. Senate this week (March 17th, 2020) considers policies to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) shared the following message to address concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak and encourage Alaskans to continue to follow guidance from health officials and agencies.
As Alaskans begin this week, we are all focused immediately and directly on the coronavirus that has impacted the nation and truly the globe. This is something that I have been hearing for weeks now from individual Alaskans, the stories of those that have been impacted by the economic disruptions but also those who are worried about their personal health—the impact that our health systems may face, the prospect of supply chain issues, the concern of being in a rural area with, perhaps, limited facilities in the event of a positive coronavirus case. This creates anxiety amongst all Alaskans.
I have encouraged Alaskans to follow the guidance of the CDC and local health officials. I think Dr. Zink has done an exceptional job of keeping Alaskans updated and providing clear and accurate information. I have compiled list of helpful resources on my website at Murkowski.senate.gov and encourage Alaskans to look directly to that as they are seeking good information and current information.
I think we need to accept that right now our everyday lives are not the same. They are not the same even as they were last week, but we need to all be participants in how we can slow the spread of this disease. We need to listen to what the experts are telling us, and when they say that social distancing has to be a priority, in slowing the transmission of this disease, when they tell us that ensuring that staying home when one feels ill or just not well, that we need to follow these instructions. We need to follow these protocols, because this is not just about one person feeling ill, this is about the potential transmission of a disease that we do not understand as fully as we need to.
This is a trying time for our nation, this is a very difficult time for our state, not only the threat of the health matters but the economic impact to our state. But we are Alaskans. We will get through this. We are good at being creative. We are great at helping each other out.
We’ve already seen examples of Alaskans coming together to help build a shelter for mushers, literally overnight, as they made a decision to ensure that those who were coming from outside the village would not have impact. And so how we work together, how we stay calm, how we adapt to some very challenging circumstances, we are good at this as Alaskans and we need to be reminded of that.
So, we are working hard back here in Washington, representing the state to make sure that the issues that are unique to Alaska are being addressed, that Alaskans who need answers from federal agencies are getting the support that they need. And so we are here working, perhaps a little bit different work environment—from phone and teleconference and video conference—than we were doing last week, but we are doing and attending to the nation’s business in many ways.
I ask that Alaskans be aware, be neighbors, and be good to one another.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
Safety is the highest priority
To All Our Loyal Customers,
Following the update from Dave Pflieger, our CEO, we wanted to provide you with some additional details. The continued safety, health, & well-being of our customers and employees is RavnAir Group’s highest priority.
To that end, we have implemented new enhanced cleaning programs that meet or exceed CDC guidelines for all of our aircraft at RavnAir Alaska (Dash 8s), PenAir (Saab 2000s) and RavnAir Connect. These new cleaning procedures include disinfecting all hard surfaces within the cabin, as well as cleaning and disinfecting passenger seats and aircraft lavatories on flights with restrooms.
In addition to our aircraft and facility cleaning, effective Tuesday, March 17th, we will begin COVID-19 risk screening of all passengers and employees, to ensure that all passengers and employees who want to fly or report to work are not sick or infected with coronavirus. The frequency of aircraft cleaning, and requirements for employee and passenger screening will be increased based on guidance and updates from State officials on COVID-19 testing.
We remain in close contact with state airport officials at all airports where we operate, as well as our partner, Alaska Airlines, and we will continue to consult all federal (CDC and HHS), State, and local guidance on this pandemic and how to prevent its introduction and spread.
Separately, we continue to review our advance bookings and operations on a daily basis, and with the virus not yet active in the communities we serve, we have not yet seen the need to make any changes to flight schedules at any of our three airlines (RavnAir Alaska, PenAir and RavnAir Connect). Should there be any changes needed in the future, we will inform our customers as soon as possible, so we can work with those affected on changes to travel plans.
In addition, we will continue to provide for our customers who have tickets or are planning to fly soon, a waiving of all change and cancellations fees. This is applicable to all tickets already purchased, or for travel booked through March 31st. In addition, all non-refundable tickets’ value will still be valid for 364 days from the date of purchase in addition to the waiving of change/cancellation fees. Kind Regards,
Derek Shanks, Chief Commercial Officer
Brian Whilden, Senior Vice President Safety