Seward’s Brilliant Response to Its Covid-19 Outbreak

This Covid-19 pandemic has been swinging us all around by the tail for months now. The State of Alaska reopened to out-of-State travelers the first week of June, and Paul and I, along with our housekeeper Felicia have all been so excited to start hosting guests again!

 Going by State mandates, businesses started reopening, and by the Solstice, bars had hit full capacity, and indoor concerts were allowed.

None of the three of us felt comfortable with the reopening speed, and all three of us have kept our circles extremely small.

On Friday, June 26, news broke that anyone who attended particular local bars around the dates of June 21-23 should get tested since one of the band members who had played was sick with Covid-19.

By letting our collective guards down, Seward got hit with an outbreak days before the 4th of July!

If you are traveling to Seward soon, do not despair! There are still some restaurants serving to go, and as their employees’ tests return negative, they will be able to reopen, in a limited capacity, but still open. The closures are temporary and based on staffing abilities. By now, everything has gotten sterilized.

Seward’s response to the outbreak (we had only experienced a couple of cases, all well contained to date), has been brilliant. Without any mandates, multiple businesses closed immediately. The list kept growing. As companies discovered either an exposed or infected employee, they closed. At the last count, there were at least 17 businesses impacted.

This town has a quite contentious debate going about mask-wearing, the need for social distancing, the reality or truthfulness of the virus, people’s constitutional rights or freedoms, who are right and who are wrong, etc. It was a bit of a surprise and quite heart-warming to see such a united response from business owners.

If everyone were to have done the right thing all along, perhaps, we would not have an outbreak, but as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. We are here now, and it’s comforting to know that our business leaders are compassionate and intelligent, and we can trust them to do the right thing.

If only we could feel that confident about everyone, we would all be able to navigate this new world together in harmony. Unfortunately, some people are not willing to be compassionate and intelligent, which burdens the rest of society. After two failed attempts to pass an ordinance for the City of Seward mandating the wearing of masks, July 1’s Special Meeting finally accomplished the passing of a compromise ordinance.

So if you have plans to visit the City of Seward, Alaska, in the next 30 days, please be prepared to practice social distancing and wear a mask when inside public spaces. With these small adaptations, you will be able to enjoy this beautiful part of the world! 

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