FEMA, State of Alaska plan to bring outside health professionals to confront COVID a positive step, HSS co-chairs say

JUNEAU — The State of Alaska today announced a plan that attempts to import hundreds of medical personnel as our state experiences the highest levels of COVID-19 at any point in the pandemic and grapples with the worst infection rates in the nation.


In response to the plan, which aims to bring 300 registered nurses and 100 certified nursing assistants, the co-chairs of the House Health and Social Services Committee released the following statements:


“If the new FEMA-funded contract results in rapid recruitment of the hundreds of healthcare professionals Alaska needs, it will be an incredibly important advancement in fighting the surge. We are grateful for the work at DHSS that is moving this forward.


As we wait for outside help to arrive, we must help ourselves here at home through prevention — vaccination, masking, and limiting gathering sizes. With strong leadership, these prevention measures will help keep our businesses and schools open, relieve demands on our healthcare system, and save lives.”


Rep. Liz Snyder (D-Anchorage)


“Today’s developments are a step toward bringing critically-needed relief to an overburdened healthcare system. Thank you to all Alaskans who have chosen vaccination, continue to wear masks in public, and avoid large gatherings in an effort to save lives. Alaska continues to need community and state leadership that will implement scientifically sound prevention measures, which are crucial to slowing the exponential spread of COVID-19 and flattening the disease burden crushing our hospitals.”


Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel)

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