Mayor Ethan Berkowitz gives a community update about COVID-19 – KTUU

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Friday afternoon Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz held a community update about COVID-19.

He was joined by Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH, Medical Doctor and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, UAA College of, Christy Lawton, Public Division Manager, Anchorage Department and Dr. Bruce Chandler, Medical Officer, Disease Prevention and Control, Anchorage Department.

Happening Now: Mayor Berkowitz to give community update about COVID-19

Posted by Channel 2 News, on Friday, July 17, 2020

According to data on the Municipality of Anchorage’s website, there are 482 active cases of COVID-19 in the MOA with a total of 838 confirmed cases.

“If we look at what’s happened in the last week we have seen a continued spiking and a resurgence of cases,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “We need to be very concerned, we need to be prepared to take some drastic measures and all of us need to show the kind of personal responsibility we showed during hunker down.”

Lawton spoke just after Berkowitz.

She highlighted that from July 9th to July 15th, the Anchorage Department recorded 231 positive cases of COVID-19. Lawton says that was the highest weekly number they’ve seen yet.

“As the cases worsened, the predicted time unit we exceed Anchorage’s ICU capacity has been cut in half,” Lawton said. “From 20 weeks to ten weeks.”

Tom Hennessy, Medical Doctor and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, UAA College of, and Dr. Bruce Chandler with the Anchorage Department also highlighted the data.

Other highlights from the community update:

– Childcare assistance is coming Berkowitz said. Applications open later this month for the help

– Berkowitz says housing relief is still available for those who need it. All you need to do is dial 2-1-1.

During the update, the mayor noted that there are talks taking place to see what will need to be done to flatten the curve. This could mean the possibility of restrictions being put in place. Berkowitz added there could be orders coming out next week.

“We have been willing to go first when it came time to do a ‘hunker down,’ we were willing to go first when it came time to do a masking order because for me I feel like my primary job is to protect public health. The decisions we make will not always be popular decisions but the judgment that we exercise at this time, is the judgment that will protect people’s lives,” said Berkowitz. “I would rather do something and overreact than not do something and under-react.”

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