City officials say the South Africa COVID-19 variant has been found in Juneau

Updated post – 5 p.m.

City officials said the South Africa variant, B.1.351 has been identified in Juneau. 

During the monthly COVID-19 update on Tuesday, City Emergency Manager Robert Barr said the vaccines are slightly less effective against this variant meaning about 60-75% effective at preventing serious illness instead of about 95% effective.

The variant was discovered in the most recent state Department of Health and Social Services report last week. 

City officials are also in the process of rolling out a COVID-19 screening program for unvaccinated people who work with children or in jobs in the tourism industry who might be in close contact with travelers.

The city is also partnering with the Juneau Chamber of Commerce offering gift cards to those who get their first vaccine doses in June. Anyone who gets their first or second dose between June 3rd and June 29th will also be entered to win one of five $1,000 cash prizes. 

City officials also addressed a question about the Fourth of July firework show and parade in Juneau. City Manager, Rorie Watt said the festivities will go ahead as scheduled. Those who are not fully vaccinated, but would like to attend, will be asked to wear masks.

Original post – 3 p.m.

Juneau officials will discuss the latest COVID-19 case and vaccine numbers during a community update at 4 p.m. today over Zoom.

You can watch here, on the city’s Facebook page, or listen in by calling 1-253-215-8782 or 1-346-248-7799 with the webinar ID 985 6308 5159. The public can ask questions in advance by emailing COVIDquestions@juneau.org.

SAIL, CBJ, and Juneau Taxi and Tours are now offering free cab rides to vaccine appointments for seniors and those with disabilities. To enroll and schedule a ride in advance, call the SAIL office at 888-478-7245 or email info@sailinc.org.

Anyone age 12 or older is eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccine appointments are available through local health care providers and pharmacies, and pop-up clinics that local businesses and organizations have requested

Eligible patients can also walk in and get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Juneau International Airport seven days a week from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone must wear a mask at the Juneau International Airport per the federal mask mandate.

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