Many Alaskans received an automated warning on their cell phones around 10 A.M. Thursday morning (11-12-20) directing them to a video of Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who cautioned residents that the COVID-19 virus was on the rise statewide.

Sitkans received a similarly-worded warning via the Code Red telephone system at around 4 P.M. from municipal administrator John Leach.

While not recommending a lockdown, both government officials urged residents to confront the pandemic with the same caution as in the spring: Work from home as much as possible, wear masks outside of family groups (when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained), and order takeout rather than dine in, use curbside pickup if at all possible.

Gov. Dunleavy’s warning also had some added heft: Masks are now required in state offices for workers and visitors alike.

Earlier this week, the governor declared a disaster emergency for the state to take effect beginning on November 16, to bring down infection rates. In his video he says “Hospitalizations and sick healthcare workers are reaching untenable levels. We must act now while we still have choices.”

Note: Didn’t get an automated call from municipal administrator John Leach? You may not have registered for the Sitka Police Department’s Code Red community alert system.