A number of Ketchikan-area public facilities announced closures over the weekend as the area prepares for the coronavirus. City officials announced Sunday that the Ketchikan Public Library and two local museums would close through the end of March.
In addition, the joint city-borough emergency operations center said in a Friday news release that the Borough Recreation Center, the Ted Ferry Civic Center and the Saxman Tribal House and Community Center would also close for at least two weeks.
The city is also discouraging large gatherings over the next two weeks.
The federal Centers for Disease Control went even further Sunday afternoon. The CDC now recommends that gatherings over 50 people be postponed for the next eight weeks.
City and borough officials are asking residents who would like to participate in tonight’s Borough Assembly meeting or Thursday’s City Council meeting to email public comments. The city or borough clerk will read the comments into the record during the meeting.
Officials say closing facilities and discouraging gatherings are attempts to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Essentially, the idea is that if fewer people get sick at the same time, limited medical resources can go further.
As of Sunday morning, officials continue to say that there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ketchikan. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the state’s first case Thursday.