ISER faculty are working to inform the Municipality of Anchorage’s COVID-19 efforts through a partnership between ISER, the UAA Division of Population Health Sciences, and the UAA College of Arts and Sciences. The group is involved in three distinct projects. First, Dr. Cueva, Dr. DeFeo, and Dr. Berry contributed to a series of publications focusing on specific areas in which the pandemic has impacted Anchorage and its residents, with recommendations for monitoring further impacts and potential responses/interventions. Of the published papers, Dr. Cueva and Dr. DeFeo took the lead on Education; considering the pandemic’s effect on early childhood, K12, and postsecondary systems, they noted the impacts of school and facility closures on students and communities, and provided recommendations to limit negative outcomes and plan for the future. Dr. Berry authored a paper on the economic impact of the hunker down order.
Dr. Cueva is also part of a second project modeling the progression of COVID-19 in Anchorage and Alaska, as well as the third project examining knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and behaviors related to the pandemic among adults in the Municipality of Anchorage through ongoing surveys. Highlights from the initial survey are available for download. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, most Anchorage residents have practiced physical distancing and good hygiene. As of the first survey, household morale was moderately high, and levels of stress and worry were generally low. As Alaska and Anchorage businesses open, the community should be reminded to give each other SPACE to continue to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. In the next few months, a series of surveys with a panel of Anchorage residents will be conducted to track changes in behavior, perceptions of COVID-19, and mental health as the situation continues to change.