The City of Unalaska lowered its local COVID-19 risk factor to "medium" Tuesday, following two weeks without a new case stemming from community spread.
And the City Council could ease some of the island's COVID-19 health mandates at a special meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m.
"Which will mean, hopefully, eliminating the restrictions to the size limitations to gatherings, eliminating the 'hunker down' order, and then also allowing for the in-person service at bars and restaurants," said City Manager Erin Reinders.
Despite declining case counts across the state, some national experts worry that holiday travel and gatherings could lead to a spike in cases. And the influx of workers for the winter fishing season could contribute to increased spread of the virus locally, Reinders said.
"We need to continue doing all that we can individually to really limit that spread," she said. "Because if we get into the scenario where there is widespread exposure, or if there is another confirmed community acquired COVID-19 case, then we'll be right back to that high risk level again. And that certainly is not a place where we want to be at all."
In light of this, Reinders suggests that Unalaskans remain diligent, even if city councilors reduce some of the protective measures that have been in place since the city moved to the high coronavirus risk threshold a month ago.
"City Council might relieve some of those protective measures and allow for the larger gatherings and whatnot," she said. "But that doesn't mean you should."
City facilities will reopen to the public under the medium risk threshold, said Reinders, and the school district is also making a plan to reopen for the upcoming semester.
Meanwhile, the city reported nine new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. Seven are industry-related, one is travel-related and one is a household member of someone who previously tested positive for the virus, the city said in a statement.
To date, this marks 200 cases of the coronavirus in Unalaska. 24 of the cases are currently active.