Nathaniel Herz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage


Alaska plans to more than triple its workforce of COVID-19 contact detectives

The state of Alaska is boosting its workforce of COVID-19 detectives, known as "contact tracers," to 500 from 150, and it's purchased new software to better share data and keep it secure.

How do Alaska leaders know it’s safe to reopen the economy? It’s all about data – but it’s complicated.

Officials and experts say that decision-making around the reopening can be complicated and hard for the public to follow. There’s no single measurement that reflects the state’s overall progress in fighting the coronavirus, nor is there specific, centralized guidance from the federal government.

Alaska faces a deficit crisis. But its platform for publicly tracking the state budget is broken.

As Governor Mike Dunleavy’s administration contends with a huge budget deficit and a big windfall of federal coronavirus relief money, it has no timeline for fixing the broken portal that Alaskans once used to examine how state cash is spent.

Juneau flight service declares Ravn “dead” and bids to save Southwest Alaska flights from disappearance

Alaska Seaplanes says it has put in a bid to buy PenAir from its bankrupt owners to save the Southwest Alaska airline’s operating certificate, saying it could disappear in a few weeks.

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy will leave quarantine mandate in place for two more weeks

Dunleavy's quarantine mandate has been credited with helping to keep Alaska's COVID-19 case count the lowest of any state's, and it was set to expire Tuesday. The extension will run two weeks from that date, Dunleavy said at a news conference Friday.

Alaska’s quarantine order has helped thwart COVID-19 but devastated tourism. Will Dunleavy keep it?

Public health experts have credited measures like Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's two-week quarantine order for travelers with holding the COVID-19 case count below every other state in the country. But the order is set to expire Tuesday, and Dunleavy hasn't said what he'll do next.

Alaska could be empty of tourists this summer. For residents, there’s an upside.

For Alaskans, a summer without tourists could translate into resident discounts, busy fishing holes transformed into blissful calm, open roads normally clogged with RVs, and cruise destinations with no ships in sight.

Military helicopters, tankers and jets will do COVID-19 flyovers from Arctic to Southeast Alaska this week

An array of military aircraft, from helicopters to F-22 fighters, aim to celebrate COVID-19 responders and essential workers this week by conducting flyovers in Alaska communities from Kotzebue, north of the Arctic Circle, to Ketchikan at the state's southeastern corner.

Campaign to recall GOP Gov. Dunleavy can go on the ballot, Alaska Supreme Court rules

The decision by the five justices, with a partial dissent by Justice Craig Stowers, was announced in a two-page order Friday afternoon.

Alaska Native leader and former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott dies at 77

Byron Mallott, the Alaska Native leader who served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Bill Walker, died unexpectedly at age 77.

Coronavirus toll on Alaska oil industry grows by 300 as Doyon Drilling announces layoffs

Doyon Drilling, a subsidiary of the Interior Alaska Native regional corporation Doyon Ltd., said in a notice to the state that the layoffs are expected to be permanent “until the crisis is over and the industry recovers.”

Alaska, Interrupted, Episode 4: From the yurt

This week's Alaska, Interrupted episode features the state's chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, who’s the closest thing Alaska has to a pandemic folk hero.

Alyeska imposes 10% cut to North Slope production as COVID-19 hammers oil demand

The trans-Alaska pipeline runs alongside the Dalton Highway near the Toolik Field Station, in the North Slope Borough. (Rashah McChesney/Alaska's Energy Desk) The company that runs the trans-Alaska...

Alaska has relaxed in-state travel rules and set new protocols for childcare, fitness and other businesses

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has relaxed the ban on residents’ in-state travel and other things, with limits, as part of an array of revised health mandates unveiled this week, aimed at cautiously reviving the economy.

Alaska, Interrupted: Life on lockdown, with kids and a job

Julia O’Malley is holding down her high-pressure job as an editor at Alaska’s Energy Desk, while stuck in her house with her two young boys. And while dealing with all the anxiety that comes with a global pandemic.

Dozens of Alaska villages to lose air service as Ravn announces huge cuts

Alaska's largest rural air carrier, RavnAir Group, says it's cutting its service by 90 percent amid a coronavirus-driven crash in revenue -- a move that could leave dozens of rural villages without passenger air service and no other reliable link to the road system.

Saturday update: Alaska COVID-19 case count jumps by 17, to 102

Alaska has confirmed 102 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon, up from 85 the day before, the Department of Health and Social Services said.

Dunleavy administration ‘strongly advises’ against non-essential air travel as pressure builds

Dunleavy's administration has released a "strong advisory" that Alaskans "cease non-essential out of state personal, business, and medical travel now." It's also strongly advising against non-essential, long-distance travel inside the state.

What are your questions about the coronavirus in Alaska? What do you want us to know?

Gathering information is a little more tricky when we're practicing appropriate social distancing. So we're hoping you'll talk to us.

Alaska COVID-19 count jumps to 9 cases, with patients in Anchorage, Seward

Two of the new cases were in Anchorage and one was 75 miles south in the Kenai Peninsula town of Seward.