Juneau sees 2 travel-related coronavirus cases as city officials consider local quarantine for travelers

A mostly empty Franklin Street in 2015 in downtown Juneau, Alaska. (Creative Commons photo courtesy of jcsullivan24)
A mostly empty Franklin Street in 2015 in downtown Juneau. (Creative Commons photo by jcsullivan24)

The two most recent cases of COVID-19 identified in Juneau appear to be related to travel outside of the borough. That comes as city officials weigh the need for a local travel quarantine mandate.

According to Juneau Public Health Nursing, the initial investigations into the cases announced on Thursday and Friday show that both are travel-related.

Juneau has had 33 confirmed cases of the disease so far. The majority have been traced to secondary transmission from another infected person. The only other travel-related case identified in the capital city was the very first case identified back in March.

The state saw a surge in cases this week with 13 new cases announced on Thursday, marking the highest daily increase in more than a month.

At a special meeting Thursday night, the Juneau Assembly discussed whether it would like to implement its own 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from out-of-state, similar to the local mandate approved in March before Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s statewide travel quarantine superseded it.

The state mandate is set to expire June 2. Instead, visitors and Alaskans returning to the state will be asked to take a test within 72 hours of boarding an Alaska-bound flight.

The Assembly directed City Attorney Rob Palmer to draft legislation related to a local 14-day quarantine to review when it meets next on Monday.

This story has been updated to include the state’s plan announced on May 29 to replace the mandatory travel quarantine with a test.

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