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    Seward considers extending COVID mandates for camping, group sizes and masks

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    Seward residents have been living under an extensive list of COVID-19 mandates. On Monday, July 27, the Seward City Council will consider extending emergency ordinances that restricts campgrounds to 50% capacity, prohibits gatherings of 20 or more people, and requires masks in public indoor settings.

    The ordinance (2020-009) extends a state of emergency in the town of 2,700 despite the fact that there have been zero hospitalizations or deaths due to COVID-19, and there are only 34 active cases of the virus as of July 24.

    The ordinance claims that the proposed emergency regulations preserve constitutional rights, while protecting the public from “an immediate threat to life and safety.”

    If approved, emergency regulations would continue to require residents to wear masks in any public gathering where they cannot maintain a six-foot distance between household members. Exceptions are made for children under four and those who have difficulty breathing. Those who are “actively eating or drinking” at a restaurant are also exempt.

    The continued prohibition on group gatherings of 20 or more applies to all in-person events with few exceptions. Gatherings for the purpose of exercising Constitutional rights would continue to be exempted from the mandate. Additionally, eating and drinking establishments, retail stores, tours, and places of worship are limited to 75% capacity.

    The proposed ordinance would take effect on Aug. 3 and last for 30 days or until the “declaration of emergency” was rescinded.

    TAKING ACTION

    • The July 17 Seward City Council meeting will be held virtually and telephonically. It begins at 7 p.m.
    • Emailed comments can be sent to clerk@cityofseward.net no later than 2 p.m. on Monday, July 27. Emails should indicate whether you want the comments read aloud at the meeting. For more information, call the clerk at 224- 4045. Those who wish to be called on the telephone to provide your comments should send an email request to clerk@cityofseward.net along with a contact phone number. This request must be sent no later than 2 p.m. on July 27. All comments are limited to three minutes.
    • While there will be no in-person comments for the meeting, it can be viewed live on YouTube at the “City of Seward Alaska” channel. The meeting will also be on the radio (97.1 FM) and television (GCI Cable Channel 9).
    • Click here to call or email members of the Seward City Council.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

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