LISTEN: How emergency officials and first responders are preparing for coronavirus

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, Lori Townsend, TOA, Talk of Alaska, Coronavirus, COVID-19, March 17, 2020

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. What does that mean for state emergency planners? How will community leaders need to prepare for local response? The virus has been confirmed in Alaska. How does that affect hospital emergency planning? We’ll discuss the emergency management plans for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the next Talk of Alaska.

HOST: Lori Townsend

  • Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of Anchorage
  • Dr. Holly Alfrey, Chief Medical Officer, Alaska Native Medical Center
  • Kenneth Baker, Jr, Safety & Emergency Management, Providence Health & Services Alaska
  • Jeremy Zidek, Public Information Officer, Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Sean Murphy, Emergency Preparedness Program Manager, Alaska Regional Hospital


  • Connect with Providence Health & Services Alaska via chatbot or call the 24-hour nurse advice line at 907-212-6183.

Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (comments may be read on air).

Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
LIVE Web stream: Click here to stream.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. 

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