By Melinda Munson
Skagway’s March 16, 2020 Declaration of Emergency was lifted by the Borough Assembly on June 17. The same resolution that relaxed health mitigation protocol announced a financial emergency, outlining Skagway’s continued need for financial support.
Three days after the legislation, Resolution 21-19R, Skagway had a new case of COVID-19, its first in months in one of the country’s most vaccinated counties.
The assembly voted unanimously to end the 15-month emergency decree, which among other things, deactivated the Emergency Operation Center and discontinued its requirement of face cloth coverings in all municipal buildings, including the school and recreation center.
The resolution still recommends that all “persons wear face coverings when inside buildings that are open to the public, until such time that the assembly resolves that the virus does not pose a health or financial emergency in the community and end the local emergency declaration.”
On Saturday, Skagwegians gathered at Seven Pastures for a solstice celebration, sponsored by Alaska Elks #431. Canceled last year because of COVID-19, this year’s festival featured clear skies, bubbles, water play, a beer garden and live music. The following day, a municipality release announced a positive COVID-19 case in a child under 12, related to travel.
“If you or your children attended the Solstice event between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., and you’re unvaccinated and had prolonged exposure with children outside of your household, you should quarantine at home and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms,” the notice read.
“Individuals should contact the on-duty provider at Dahl Memorial clinic at 907-983-2025 immediately if they develop cold or flu symptoms, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pressure or tightness, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache or loss of taste or smell.”
Summer Day Camp at the Skagway Recreation Center was canceled on Monday but scheduled as normal for Tuesday. While parents received an email on Sunday stating that masks were no longer required, they received another email later that day reversing course.
“All children will be required to wear masks tomorrow when returning to the youth program,” the correspondence stated.
As of deadline, 733 individuals in Skagway are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Currently only those 12 and older are eligible for vaccination. According to the Washington Post, experts estimate children as young as six months could have access to a vaccine this fall or early 2022.
The family of the young child infected with COVID-19 posted their identity on the Facebook Group Skagway Parental Units in an effort to aid in contact tracing. They declined to comment to The Skagway News.