Seward, Alaska – At noon today, the City of Seward officially declared a Public Health Emergency at a Level III Incident, in response to the Coronavirus. City Manager Scott Meszaros sent the declaration letter to Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce and then immediately stood up a Virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
As of 1:00 p.m., all City non-essential personnel were sent home until April 24, 2020, or until further notice. The City will pay all personnel at their regular wages. All City buildings, offices, and facilities are closed to the public for the same duration, with the exception of the Police Department window at City Hall. All essential personnel will continue to work inside the City facilities and have been instructed to continue exercising caution and maintain compliance with CDC guidelines. Essential personnel may be reached by phone or email.
All City-related travel has been cancelled, and all work sessions and meetings of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Port & Commerce Advisory Board, and Historic Preservation Commission have been cancelled through April 24, 2020. The Seward City Council will meet at its regular meeting on March 23, 2020 to ratify the declaration and to conduct time-sensitive business related to COVID-19.
A public information line has been set up for the public to ask questions or provide information. Messages left on the line will be automatically forwarded to the City’s Public Information Officer for handling and response. The public information phone number is (907) 224-4015.
The City’s Virtual Joint Information Center (JIC) with community healthcare agencies and other community representatives will continue to meet; virtual meetings have been increased to three times a week. Reports and updates will be provided to the public regularly.