Economic Stabilization Task Force continues discussions

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Child care needs, an update on cruise ships, and how to reopen business were discussed by the task force.

    Former Mayor Ken Koelsch reported on the obstacles facing the cruise industry.  The Centers for Disease Control issued a no sail order that delays the season until July 23.

    Canada has closed ports to cruise ships until July 1.

    The task force discussed word that Holland America plans to operate only two ships in Southeast Alaska this summer.  They announced five of their ships won't sail to Alaska this summer.

    The cruise industry schedule will be sharply reduced. 

    Kirby Day said the industry wants to come up with protocols and procedures in coordination with the CDC and the White House so they can get started again in early July.

    "The industry is working very hard on these protocols to go forward," he added.

    The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce plans to upgrade its website and offer more resources and information to the public and businesses.  They will provide information from banks and credit unions, the CPA and accounting industry, external loans and social resources to assist businesses and employees.

    The group asked the city to advertise this service to the general public.

    Laura Martinson provided a report on child care.  She said while daycare centers are allowed to open many have concerns about safety.  A handful of daycare centers are open to serve essential workers in Juneau.

    She said the state approved $6 million in funding for daycare centers. 

    The Child Care Block Grant Program impacts daycare centers with four or more kids.  This will provide them payments that equal the tuition they received in February for the months of March, April and May.

    The state will receive funds through the CARES Act.  An estimated $35 million is needed to meet the needs of daycare centers around the state.

    They also would like to know the protocols for them to reopen.  Centers also need supplies of protective equipment, thermometers, disinfectant and baby wipes.

    The group also requested the CBJ to run public service announcements to educate the public about health insurance available to non-insured people that get COVID-19.

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