As Ketchikan saw the cases of COVID-19 creep up, the official response has been to name five downtown bars, and tell people that if they visited those bars they should get tested.
Steven Kantor, of the Ketchikan chapter of CHARR (Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant, and Retailers Association) says that’s unfair targeting. He says patrons in bars also visit other establishments around town, and yet the name-shaming is focused on just the bars.
Cases have risen in Ketchikan over recent days, jumping from nine cases on Thursday to 10 on Friday, and 13 each on Saturday and Sunday. Of each of those 13 cases, four have been considered “community transmission.”
Last summer, Anchorage tried the name-shaming method, also focusing on bars. The Mayor’s Office, then occupied by Ethan Berkowitz, named 19 bars — both in Anchorage and in the Mat-Su Valley — where people who had tested positive for COVID had visited. None of his own restaurant-bars were on the list.
In Southern Southeast Alaska, 2,691 people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Ketchikan Borough has under 14,000 residents.
The bars named by the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center were The Arctic, The Asylum, 49’er Bar, Moose Lodge #224, and Totem Bar.
The EOC is asking those who visited the establishments to quarantine at home for two weeks and get tested within a week of having visited one of the establishments, or earlier if exhibiting symptoms.