By Gretchen Wehmhoff

Skagway’s Borough Manager, Brad Ryan, issued an official declaration of emergency for the Municipality of Skagway (MOS) on Monday afternoon.

Ryan cites the impending economic impact to Skagway following a recent move by the prime minister of Canada to close Canadian cruise ship ports until July 2020. The declaration stresses the severity of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and the World Health Organization’s classification of the virus as a pandemic.

Three cases of COVID-19 have been verified in Alaska. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital announced two people tested positive and are self-isolating at home as outpatients.

Ryan states that a declaration of emergency will alert the public to the seriousness of the pandemic and provide sources of information.

The Municipality is working in cooperation with other state and local agencies through the Emergency Operations Center to take action and respond to the probable COVID-19 outbreak.

The MOS released their COVID-19 mitigation strategies and guidelines for Skagwegians with advice and resources for permanent residents and returning workers.