Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Non-essential travel will be restricted through Juneau International Airport as of midnight tonight.
The resolution orders travelers who come to Juneau from any nation or in the lower 48, or from inside the state, with reported COVID-19 cases, to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless if they are symptomatic or not. CBJ officials said several hundred travelers are coming to Juneau by airplane and boats each day.
Air travel has been reduced by about 65 percent at JIA since the outbreak began.
Resident Jim Clark raised concerns about if the Assembly had the authority to order people to self-quarantine. He also raised concerns about the imposition of a self-quarantine on the capital and state legislators. He said that power lied with the governor.
"I worry about the message to the legislature and I would ask that there be reasonable exceptions," he added.
CBJ Attorney Robert Palmer said he felt home rule municipalities in Alaska have the same power as the governor in regard to the imposition of quarantines.
Mike Satre of Hecla Greens Creek Mine said the mandated quarantine is problematic for their mine and employees. He said they have been exempted from other health mandates in the past.
"We ask you to consider reasonable exemptions for critical infrastructure businesses."
He said the self-quarantine would place a significant burden on the mine.
Assembly Member Loren Jones said he didn't think there was enough notice to the public for the Assembly to hold the special meeting. The agenda for the meeting went out at 9 pm Saturday.
Vice Mayor Maria Gladziszewski said Italy has seen an exponential increase in deaths. "This is truly the definition of unprecedented. It is easy to get distracted by this word (quarantine). Don't get distracted, take action to protect the public health of people in Juneau."
The Assembly did vote 5-4 to exempt those in critical businesses or entities. They also voted to exempt health care workers. Those exempted include workers in transportation and logistics, energy, fishing, raw materials and mining, sanitation, public safety, government functions, financial services and defense.