Metlakatla will postpone most of its annual Founder’s Day celebration this year. That’s according to Metlakatla Indian Community Mayor Reginald Atkinson, who released a statement Tuesday evening calling off this weekend’s parade, marathon and field events due to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Ketchikan.
Founder’s Day marks the arrival of missionary William Duncan and about 800 Tsimshian people to Annette Island in 1887.
August 7 will be the 134th anniversary of that historic event. But the celebration could be held a week later on Saturday, August 14, Atkinson wrote — and only if COVID-19 case numbers go down.
Food vendors are still expected to be set up this coming weekend. And a Founder’s Day hotdog feast will proceed as scheduled.
Cases continue to rise in southern Southeast Alaska. As of Wednesday evening, Ketchikan Public Health has reported 57 new COVID-19 infections since July 29. And last Friday, Metlakatla broke its month-and-a-half stretch of no active cases with the confirmation of three cases by the tribe.
Metlakatla currently requires 10-day quarantines for nearly all unvaccinated people who arrive from areas of moderate or high COVID-19 risk. The quarantine list has tripled in the last few days, according to a public notice by Atkinson. He has urged community members to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands.
This story has been updated.