The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center has apologized for having named five specific bars in downtown Ketchikan, in what was supposed to be an effort to alert people about possible Covid exposure.
“It was not the intent of the EOC to draw negative attention to the establishments or to imply that they had done anything wrong. The EOC is very aware of the hardships that these businesses have faced the past year, and we sincerely apologize for any perception that the EOC was calling out businesses in a negative light. In fact, the EOC is very pleased with the manner in which these establishments have worked with the EOC and Public Health, and have implemented employee testing protocols and mitigation plans for their businesses,” the agency wrote in a news release.
“In many of the cases identified last week, unfortunately, the nature of the operation and the length of potential interaction in those locations led to the difficulty in the contact tracing. The close contacts could not be identified by Public Health through the normal investigation, and an announcement of the commonly attended businesses became necessary. It was necessary to announce the risk to the public so that people could self-identify and proceed with quarantine and testing. Four of the five named businesses were contacted by Public Health prior to the announcement, and messages were left for the fifth business,” the EOC explained.
Local hospitality representatives had strenuously objected to the naming of bars, because they said it was just as likely that everyone who went to a bar also visited other businesses around Alaska’s First City.