Seward extends emergency restrictions

Emergency ordinance 2020-009 was adopted unanimously by the city council on July 27.

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The Seward City Council voted to adopt an emergency ordinance last week that extends the city’s mask requirement and limitations on in-person gatherings.

Emergency ordinance 2020-009, which was adopted unanimously by the city council on July 27, extends by 30 days the effective date of regulations that were already in place from the adoption of emergency ordinance 2020-008.

The ordinance extends the emergency declaration for the city and required masks or face coverings for anyone in Seward when they are in public buildings and cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. Exceptions are made for children 4 years old and younger, people with difficulty breathing and people with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a covering over their nose or mouth.

The ordinance also limited city-owned campgrounds to 50% capacity. The city will not take additional reservations over 50% capacity.

The ordinance limits in-person gatherings to 20 people or more, except gatherings that are meant for “exercising Constitutional rights.”

In addition, retail stores, tours, places of worship, and all eating and drinking establishments — including restaurants, bars, ice cream and specialty food shops — are limited to an indoor seating capacity of 10 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater.

These regulations were first implemented at the beginning of July in response to an outbreak identified in the Seward community. A second, larger outbreak was identified at the OBI Seafoods plant in Seward, where more than 100 employees, mostly nonresident, tested positive.

Currently there are 46 active cases of COVID-19 among Seward residents and 128 active cases among nonresidents. Most of the active nonresident cases are OBI Seafoods employees who are currently isolating and being treated in Anchorage, according to previous updates from the city of Seward.

To learn more about the emergency regulations, visit www.cityofseward.us.

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