Interior physicians send letter to Governor requesting travel ban and shelter in place order

(Image courtesy of the CDC)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) On Sunday afternoon a letter signed by Interior physicians was sent to Governor Dunleavy.

Jenny Lessner, MD of Family Medicine wrote the letter imploring Governor Dunleavy to hold a travel mandate for non-essential travel, as well as a shelter in place order. Lessner said reasons for the mandate and order are due to a high number of positive laboratory COVID-19 cases, as well as an increase in patients with symptoms of coronavirus.

Physicians in Anchorage and other communities around the state sent similar letters.

The letter from the Interior physicians is below:

March 22, 2020
The Honorable Michael Dunleavy
Governor of Alaska
550 W 7th Ave #1700
Anchorage, AK 99501

Dear Governor Dunleavy,

We are physicians from Fairbanks, Alaska, contacting you out of concern for our patients, our community and our fellow healthcare workers. We work in different medical specialties and clinical settings across Interior Alaska but we are unified in our expert
medical advice:

1. Alaska must have a shelter in place order immediately; and
2. Alaska needs a mandated travel ban.

We are seeing a rise in laboratory confirmed COVID19 cases as well as a dramatic increase in patients presenting with symptoms that are clinically consistent with COVID19 infection here in Fairbanks. New data suggests that COVID19 infection appears to be predominantly spread by people who are minimally sick or asymptomatic. It is these very citizens who feel well and are not adopting the necessary social
distancing measures that are spreading COVID19 in our community. We appreciate the steps that you have already taken to restrict travel and encourage Alaskans to stay home but it is becoming clear that the voluntary recommendations on travel and social distancing are proving inadequate. Many Alaskans have not adopted these necessary
measures and continue to move around our community and the state without regard for the consequences. We implore you to take immediate action to help slow the spread of COVID19 so that our limited healthcare resources will not be overwhelmed. Acting today will save
Alaskan lives.

Respectfully,
Jenny Lessner, MD Family Medicine, with the following Physicians of Interior Alaska:

Muhammad K Ahmed, MD Endocrinology
Kendrick D. Blais, DO, FAAFP Family Medicine
Nate Buffington, MD Family Medicine
Mike Burton, MD Emergency Medicine
Kate Carey, DO Osteopathic Manipulation
Janice P. Chen, MD Radiology
Terry Conklin, MD Emergency Medicine
Dante Conley, MD, MSt, FACS General Surgery
Barbara Creighton, MD, FACP Internal Medicine Hospitalist
Peter Dillon, MD Family Medicine Urgent Care
Kristin Flowers, MD, FACS General Surgery
Julia Franklin, MD Family Medicine
Maren Gaul, DO Dermatology
Ken Glaeser, MD Emergency Medicine
Anne Rutherford Hanley, DO Pediatrics
Owen Wood Hanley DO, MPH Internal Medicine Hospitalist
Eiluned Hogenson, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology
Robin Holmes, MD Family Medicine
Gayle Hornberger, DO Family Medicine
Corrine Leistikow, MD Family Medicine
Maria Mandich, MD Emergency Medicine
Sally Mangum, DO, PhD Internal Medicine
Sadie Marden, MD, MPH Obstetrics & Gynecology
Peter Marshall, MD Family Medicine North Pole
Bill McIntyre, MD Emergency Medicine
Daniel McCulley, MD Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine
J William McKenna, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology
Janice Onorato, MD Neurology
Jessica Panko, MD Radiology
Stan Robinson, MD Emergency Medicine
Kimberly Schumacher DO, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Isaac Siegfried, MD Emergency Medicine
Mark Simon, MD Emergency Medicine
Claire Stoltz, MD Family Medicine
Art Strauss, MD Emergency Medicine
Ashley Lundren Strum, MD Internal Medicine
Mike Strum, MD Internal Medicine
Brian Tansky, MD Emergency Medicine
Rebecca Taylor, DO Family Medicine
Abraham Tsigonis, MD FACS General Surgery
Jean Tsigonis, MD, MPH Family Medicine
Kathryn Tsigonis, MD Family Medicine
Haley Turner, MD Family Medicine
Kerry Wappett, MD Obstetrics & Gyneology
Shannon Wiegand, MD Family Medicine
Greg Wood, DO Cardiology
Romel Wrenn, MD FACC Cardiology
Milton Wright, DO Osteopathic Manipulation

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