Masking in Cordova’s public schools will be optional starting in 2022, under updated guidelines unanimously approved by the school board, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread for a third year in Alaska.
American Rescue Plan Act funds totaling $92,448 have been allocated to Cordova through the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, for a variety of uses ranging from materials purchases and upgrading websites to developing new virtual educational programs.
"Like many in the community the board is eager to make masking voluntary in school buildings when it is determined to be safe to do so," Barb Jewell wrote.
Alaska’s seafood industry is rebounding slowly from the COVID-19 pandemic, buoyed by larger harvests in some areas, higher seafood prices and a resumed demand for seafood.
A Cordova woman aged 80 or older died of COVID-19, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced.
Alaska continues to be one of the hottest spots in the nation for COVID-19 cases, with 4,753 new cases reported in the state in just four days, plus 31 deaths.
Alaska set a record high of 1,735 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, Sept. 23, with five new cases of the pandemic virus in the Copper River Census Area, as the state’s largest hospital continued operating under crisis standards of care.
69.2% of Cordova residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.
"[My daughter] was looking forward to going to school this year," parent Chris Bolin said. "And when she heard that it was required to wear a mask… she didn’t want to go to school no more. It’s just heartbreaking, as a parent, to see your kid not want to go to school when she’s doing so good."
"People need to stop reading the voodoo stories on the internet," Councilman Tom Bailer said. "Talk to some real doctors and get the dang shot and quit putting the rest of the people in the community at risk."