City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will decide Wednesday evening whether to extend a mandate that requires out-of-state visitors, such as the ones that come in through Juneau International Airport, to self-quarantine for two weeks. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will decide Wednesday evening whether to extend a mandate that requires out-of-state visitors, such as the ones that come in through Juneau International Airport, to self-quarantine for two weeks. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

City says new visitor regulations are difficult to apply

Assembly also considering a local extension of state’s quarantine mandate

The state’s new health mandates concerning out-of-state visitors may be difficult to execute, said City and Borough of Juneau officials.

“Staff is trying to figure out how you logistically implement what the governor announced Friday,” said CBJ city manager Rorie Watt in a phone interview. “I don’t think we can implement it logistically.”

The mandate, announced last Friday, requires visitors to Alaska to get tested for the coronavirus within three days of visiting the state, in lieu of the 14-day quarantine requirement that’s set to expire this week.

However, Watt said, there are some concerns about its implementation. Until that’s solved, Assembly members spoke in favor of extending the 14-day quarantine policy for out of state visitors.

“The likelihood that people are going to be arriving with a negative test in hand is low,” Watt said. “I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that a high percentage of arriving passengers will arrive with that negative test.”

The testing policy will ostensibly go into effect this Friday, June 5. According to Dunleavy, visitors without proof of a test will be given the option of taking a test at their point of arrival or embarking on a personal quarantine.

New AMHS rule denied some Hoonah residents their trip home

“I think the governor’s done a good job so far,” said Assembly member Greg Smith in a phone interview. “I just hope he continues.”

The Assembly will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday to further consider the matter. Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum will be available to answer questions, Watt said Monday.

Watt said he believed that most residents had faithfully cleaved to their quarantines, he didn’t have a feel for visitors. He was not aware of anyone actually being cited for breaching quarantine.

“I don’t believe anyone has been cited. There’s been no tracking,” Watt said. “I believe Alaskans are complying with the intent of the quarantine. Outside travelers? I don’t know.”

While Juneau has done a good job holding the line, noncompliant visitors bringing the contagion from out of state could pose a risk, Smith said.

“My sense on it is we’re having a discussion and paying attention,” Smith said. “Juneau has done a really good job of smashing the curve and we believe one of our biggest risk factors is people bringing it from outside.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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