Alaska raises preparedness level around new coronavirus

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska has raised its level of preparedness as cases of the new coronavirus have emerged on the West Coast, including in Washington.

    Alaska health Commissioner Adam Crum and the state's chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, briefed state legislators Wednesday on preparations.

    Zink urged calm and kindness and encouraged people to get flu shots, to help keep the state's limited capacity health care system from being overwhelmed.

    Crum said the Dunleavy administration is working on ways to help people get early refills on prescription medications in case those are needed as part of a person's preparations. 

    Four Alaskans have tested negative for the virus while two others are being tested.  The state has 100 testing kits on hand and expects more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention soon.

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