Juneau emergency center to close April 29th

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau's Emergency operation center, after being created at the outbreak of the covid pandemic, could be closed soon.

    "That's on the horizon for us actually," said Deputy Manager and Incident Commander Robert Barr on Action Line. He explained that the center would be demobilized at the end of April.

    "The authorizing ordinance that we have for our community mitigation strategies expires at the end of April, and we have been slowly demobilizing most of our emergency operations center functions with a goal of pretty much full demobilization at that same time," he said. "EOCs, the intent and the purpose and what they're designed to do are to respond to emergencies and like it or not, COVID is with us it's not going anywhere, and yes, most communities including ours, we are starting to treat it less like an emergency and more like a normal course of business."

    April 29th is the close date for the center.

    Meanwhile, Barr wrote in his emergency center report that a large amount of federal funding was removed from the federal COVID response effort.

    He laid out major impacts, including ending federal reimbursement for testing for uninsured people. That went into effect Wednesday.

    The procurement of therapeutics, like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral medications, are more quickly than anticipated moving to the open/private market. He said this may result in supply chain constraints due to an uncertain and highly variable amount of demand, which the federal government had been moderating.

    However, Barr said that while there is some uncertainty around therapeutic availability in the future due to lapsing federal funding, current availability is good. He advised the State Department of Health and Social Services maintains a good website on COVID-19 therapeutic options.

    He rose a concern that similar supply chain impacts may occur in testing and, if necessary, in the development of future vaccines.

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