Governor Mike Dunleavy issued Health Mandate 13 Thursday closing all schools in Alaska for the reminder of the school year. The mandate supersedes the previous mandate closing schools through May 1.

The mandate also leaves graduating seniors without a scheduled graduation ceremony. Dunleavy addressed the issue during Thursday’s press conference saying that the decision was in the best interest of the state and it is unfortunate that graduating seniors would be impacted this way.

Dunleay said, “we know that a lot of our seniors are only going to get one shot at this, and all we can do is just say that   our apologies for having to go through this.”

The mandate says that the incident command team will meet later this month to consider whether small groups of students will be allowed to meet with teachers for conferences before the end of the school year.

It was also announced that mandate 11, social distancing and mandate 12, the intrastate travel restriction, has been extended until April 21 and will be evaluated before that date.

Mandate six, suspending elective dental procedures is extended indefinitely and the list of elective medical procedures for mandate five are revised.

Michael Paschall is the editor and publisher of Delta Wind and can be reached at