Salmon Jam VIP guests cancel visit as virus outbreak increases

Cordova, Alaska. (Sept. 7, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Updated 8:15 p.m.

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Alaska, and Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer canceled plans to attend this year’s Copper River Salmon Jam, citing unsafe conditions, city officials said. Cordova is experiencing an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with the city’s active case count increasing to 43 on Wednesday, July 14.

“I’m chagrined and disappointed,” City Manager Helen Howarth said. “I’m dismayed and disgruntled. I’m dejected and delirious.”

However, plans for Copper River Salmon Jam festivities remained mostly unaffected. The event was set up with coronavirus safety in mind, said organizers, who asked festival participants to observe precautions, such as wearing masks when social distancing was not possible.

The festival will offer shuttle transportation for Alaska Salmon Runs race participants, although racers will be required to wear masks during transport, and shuttles will keep their windows open to increase ventilation. The Saturday, July 17 Alaska Salmon Runs barbecue dinner event has been moved from the Pioneer Igloo hall to the nearby Cordova Center parking lot on First Street.

Of the 178 cases so far reported in Cordova, 43 are believed to be currently active, according to data published by the city. Of those 178 cases, 154 were Cordova residents and 24 were non-residents. A cumulative total of four people who tested positive for the virus have been hospitalized. As of July 14, 1,412 people have been fully vaccinated in Cordova, according to data published by the city.

Coronavirus vaccination is available at both CCMC and ICHC. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 907-424-3045.