JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The city of Juneau issued an emergency public health order mandating that all bars must close indoor service starting Saturday at noon.
The move comes after local public health officials reported that two more people in the city tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday after being in a bar. At least 13 people have had confirmed cases of the coronavirus after one large gathering that many local bartenders attended in late August, KTOO-FM reported.
Bars that have outdoor seating can still serve people, but the seating must fulfill federal guidelines for social distancing, said Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove in an email. Bars are also still able to conduct curbside and delivery services. The order will be in place for at least 15 days.
The order also requires restaurants to hold at most 50% of their normal indoor capacity and to only accept customers who have made reservations.
Several bars and restaurants in the city had closed down earlier in the week due to confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The state reported 97 new confirmed cases and one new confirmed death on Friday, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services. There have been 43 deaths from the coronavirus in the state since the pandemic began.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.