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As Princess Cruises takes 60-day pause, CBJ wants to “flatten the curve” in Juneau

March 12, 2020 – News

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Princess Cruises announced this morning that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10. The City and Borough of Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt says this action and similar ones being taken all over the world are in an effort to “flatten the curve” – or avoid a huge spike of infections in a short period of time. A high rate of infections would overwhelm a health care system, leading to a higher mortality rate.

“All of us individually and collectively have to do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ and Princess’ 60 day pause fits in that context. Our actions in Juneau today are strategic and important. At some future point, when we look back, there will have been a high point of infection in the community. Limiting social contact today, and doing simple things like hand washing and staying home when sick, prepares us as a community to limit the height of that peak infection, helps us protect our health care resources for those that will need them,” Watt said.

In consultation with public health officials, CBJ is monitoring upcoming public gatherings. At this time, Watt said it is not appropriate for CBJ to impose restrictions on mass gatherings, but State of Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink advises those over 60 or with health vulnerabilities to avoid mass gatherings and increase social distancing. The general public should continue increased sanitation.

CBJ City Manager Watt encourages community members to help higher risk populations: “Shop for them, help communicate the risk, help them avoid unnecessary public interaction, and help spread accurate information, our most powerful tool.” For more information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), go to CBJ’s COVID-19 webpage.