The Nome Common Council voted Monday night to extend the declaration of a Local Emergency in Nome due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While Nome is still in a state of emergency, however, the Emergency Order affecting inbound travel to the city was allowed to expire at midnight on the night of June 30, rather than being extended.
City Manager Glenn Steckman confirmed with KNOM on the morning of June 30 that there will no longer be any vaccination or testing requirements at the Nome airport as of July 1.
“The requirements of showing a card, the requirements of having to get tested if you weren’t vaccinated, or being quarantined, are being lifted tonight at midnight.”– Glenn Steckman, City Manager
Federal directives requiring that face masks be worn while in any airport terminal or on board an aircraft, however, are still in effect.
The COVID-19 testing tent set up by Norton Sound Regional Hospital will remain at the Nome airport, and the staff there will continue to offer free on-site testing and vaccination to any travelers who are interested in receiving those services.
While the Emergency Order will be allowed to expire, the extension of the Local Emergency means that Steckman, as City Manager, is still authorized to take swift action to limit movement to, from, and within the city of Nome, should the need arise.
“If, for instance, Nome should be hit by the new Delta variant … the City Manager would still be allowed to put in necessary controls at the airport in case of that potential outbreak.”– Glenn Steckman
Steckman encourages travelers to continue to exercise caution and to consider getting vaccinated, especially given the increasing number of Delta-variant COVID-19 cases being reported elsewhere in the state.
In other business, the Council went through a first reading of a proposal to lease city property to GCI. The Council also approved a $200,000 contract for the Nome Chamber of Commerce to operate the Nome Visitors’ Center during FY 22, and voted to accept funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Council was unable to specify the total amount of ARPA funds the city will receive, but the last figure quoted was over $930,000.
The Nome Common Council will reconvene for its next regular meeting on Monday, July 14, at 7 p.m.
Image at top: The Nome Common Council prepare to meet to discuss regular business including elections and public comments. Photo by KNOM.