Physicians urge mandatory shelter in place, travel ban

A number of physicians are urging Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a statewide order mandating everyone to shelter in place and banning all unnecessary travel, to contain the outbreak of novel coronavirus causing a global pandemic.

A group of 119 physicians and medical groups, mostly from Anchorage, sent a letter to Dunleavy on Saturday, March 21, saying these steps need to be taken now to prevent Alaska from being overwhelmed with critically ill patients.

“Until we build the testing capacity to test everyone coming into the state and receive rapid results, the only solution to contain this outbreak is to institute an immediate non-essential travel ban and home quarantine,” the letter said.

The physicians contend that recommendations against non-essential travel, and for voluntary self-isolation and social distancing have been ineffective.