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Alaska governor sent thank you notes to 49 other states for coronavirus efforts

Alaska governor sent thank you notes to 49 other states for coronavirus efforts
© Office of Michael Dunleavy

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) sent letters to the country's other 49 governors last month thanking them for their efforts combating the spread of COVID-19 .

According to screenshots of the letter tweeted by Alaska Public Media reporter Nathanial Herz on Monday, Dunleavy wrote to the governors: “From personal experience, I know you and your staff are straining late into the night, week after week, to keep your residents safe. I wanted to just take a moment to express my gratitude for your dedication.”

“Your tireless efforts are especially important to us here in Alaska, with over 60 percent of Alaskans being born outside the Last Frontier, many have family spread thought the nation,” he continued. “We are so incredibly appreciative of your work to keep our loved ones and friends safe while we remain separated by vast distances and travel restrictions.”

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“The decisions you make in the coming months will no doubt be difficult, and in some cases, downright unpopular. I thank you and your hardworking staff for doing what’s best for your state in these unprecedented times,” he added.

The tweet featured screenshots of letters Dunleavy sent to Florida Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrump jokes he'll 'find a way' to fire Gov. DeSantis if he loses Florida Exclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden hit campaign trail in Florida MORE (R), Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R). Each of the letters were identical and signed by Dunleavy. 

In late March, a few weeks after Alaska reported its first presumptive case of the coronavirus, Dunleavy joined governors across the country in issuing a stay-at-home order requiring residents to avoid unnecessary travel and practice social distancing in a bid to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

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According to state health data, only about 400 cases of the virus have been reported in Alaska so far, with more than 340 recoveries and 10 deaths.

In recent weeks, Dunleavy has also joined governors in implementing a phased plan to reopen the state’s economy amid the outbreak. Under the first phase of the “Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan,” the state allowed most nonessential business to reopen with restrictions on April 24.

The state has since entered the second phase of its plan, allowing retail and personal care businesses, restaurants, and offices to reopen with a 50 percent-capacity limitation and easing restrictions on swimming pools and religious gatherings.