Emergency worker Tyler Morgan prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at Juneau International Airport. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Emergency worker Tyler Morgan prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at Juneau International Airport. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Low positivity rate ‘incredible’; next challenge is vaccines

The big decrease in infections means more city services are now available.

The day after the community’s COVID risk level was lowered from high to moderate, Juneau’s COVID trend line continues to point down, officials said.

“It doesn’t look like we are going to see a holiday bump,” said City and Borough Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove, who is also the Emergency Operations Center incident commander, during a weekly COVID-19 briefing.

“We are about a week away from declaring victory there,” she added.

City relaxes health restrictions as COVID risk declines

Overall, Juneau’s seven-day rolling positivity rate was 0.13% as of Tuesday.

“It’s incredible that our case count has dropped. It’s awesome that we could have in-person school this week and ease restrictions on local businesses. We are helping each other see each other through this time,” Cosgrove said.

In addition to schools re-opening, the low infection rates mean that several city services, including libraries, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, the Permit Center, Juneau pools, the Treadwell Ice Arena and the Zach Gordon Youth Center, are able to increase their service levels and capacity limits.

“Your actions affect the ability of kids to stay in school. Next week we welcome the Legislature,” said CBJ city manager Rorie Watt.

Vaccine rollout

City officials said that Juneau has about 26,000 residents who are over age 16 and eligible to get a vaccine.

“We should be through about 10% of the population by this weekend,” Cosgrove said, citing already-scheduled vaccine events.

Vaccine slots filled within minutes—followed by uncertainty

Watt and Cosgrove thanked the community for continued vigilance.

“Working on the vaccine problem is a big improvement over where we were a few months ago,” Watt said.

“We have signs of progress. But we need more patience. We aren’t done yet,” he added.

Contact Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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