Juneau residents deemed “fully vaccinated” for COVID will be granted special privileges not afforded to the non-vaxxed. Those who have received COVID shots can now remove masks in most settings, according to revised mandates for the region.

“If you are fully vaccinated, the City and Borough of Juneau no longer requires masks be worn in most indoor or outdoor settings,” a May 14 notice from the city states.

Juneau’s revised COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies are a near lockstep reflection of the CDC’s updated guidance for fully vaccinated people. The CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people wear masks and social distance.

“This will feel like an abrupt change to some people, and it will take time to get comfortable with these new rules,” City Manager Rorie Watt said. “As our community transitions to these updated mitigation strategies, it’s important to be considerate and respectful of our neighbors.”

With 44% of Juneau residents deemed “unvaccinated” it is unclear how the city will identify and mandate that they remain masked.

Overall, Juneau now considers COVID to be a “minimal” risk to the community. There is only one person hospitalized with the virus and just 18 positive cases in an area with more than 32,000 people.

Despite the low risk of COVID, Juneau will continue to insist that nonvaccinated residents stay masked in indoor public settings and at crowded outdoor events.

Adding to the awkwardness, attendees at indoor gatherings must maintain a six-foot distance if a non-vaxxed person is present and masks must be worn by everyone who is non-vaxxed.

At restaurants and bars, the non-vaxed must wear masks and keep a six-foot distance from other parties. When traveling these people must continue to take pre-travel tests and take follow up tests.

Juneau still requires that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks on Capital Transit, in Juneau International Airport, Juneau School District facilities, Bartlett Regional Hospital, and in any local business, workplace, healthcare, or other setting that still requires it.

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In easing restrictions, Juneau insists the non-vaxxed stay masked

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.