Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A letter was sent to the governor after a 7-2 vote by the assembly asking him to do more to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in state office buildings.
The letter urges the governor to implement additional policies and procedures to minimize the risk of transmission of coronavirus in state facilities. It also asks him to maximize the number of state workers who can work from home.
Assemblymember Greg Smith said a few of the confirmed cases of the virus have had contact with state offices. He said downtown businesses are closed but the state office buildings are open with a lot of people inside.
"I get it, we can do six-foot distancing but now we hear how long the virus can live on hard surfaces. People are in elevators, they are touching handrails. It's a huge amount of density and a lot of risk of transmission," he added.
The state has allowed workers at high risk and those over 60 to find alternative ways to work at home.
Assemblymember Wade Bryson said any communication the CBJ has with the governor should be about recovery and future solutions. "Let the governor worry about the health mandate. They are on top of this. Adding this letter to the governor's stack of things to read provides no benefit to the city of Juneau, would accomplish nothing, and could possibly put us further down the list of receiving aid in the future when we do need help. I don't see any good coming from this."
Assemblymember Carole Triem said she felt the governor has been sending mixed messages during his public and private appearances.
"I think the governor, when he is in the press conference, tells one thing, and his communication with state workers tells another. I understand the concept of being a friendly and welcoming capital city. This issue is about the health and safety of our citizens and we need to be protecting them," she added.
The state currently employs about 15,000 people in various communities around Alaska.
For more local news, information and resources to help keep Juneau safe and healthy, visit https://beta.juneau.org/covid-19