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City Manager responds to Port of Seattle cancelling early cruise season sailings

March 11, 2020 – News

The Port of Seattle announced today that it has cancelled the April 1 and April 5 planned sailings of the Seattle 2020 cruise season. The cancelled sailings are “port of call” sailings, which means that the vessel makes a one-day stop in Seattle on its way to a different destination. In light of this news, the City and Borough of Juneau Manager Rorie Watt says he continues to actively monitor cruise ship issues and is communicating with cruise companies and ports.

“We were advised in advance of the Port of Seattle’s action today to close their port to passenger traffic in early April. That closure is part of Washington State’s response to limiting the spread of COVID-19. Many members of the public are communicating to myself and the Assembly about the upcoming cruise ship season. We completely understand the community concerns,” Watt says.

According to Watt, CBJ will make decisions at the appropriate times based on the best available guidance from public health officials: “I want the public to know that we are focusing all of our efforts on the here and now – the risk of COVID-19 today, this week, next week. Cruise ships with passengers are not scheduled to come to Southeast until late April. Much will happen between now and then, and CBJ’s management of our port will be in accordance with guidance from the State of Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

In the interim, the public should take action now to prevent and slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19):

  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap or water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and face.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes.
  • Stop shaking hands.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items.

People over 60, and anyone who has serious chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease, and diabetes, are at increased risk of developing severe illness and dying from COVID-19. See recommendations for higher risk people here, and other information on CBJ’s COVID-19 webpage.

For more information, contact City Manager Rorie Watt at 586-5240 or Rorie.Watt@juneau.org.