Council leadership has made a decision that all Council, AP, and SSC meetings through the end of the year will be held virtually, rather than in-person. The trajectory of Covid-19 is significantly different than the Council anticipated in June when planning for in-person meetings this fall. The current status of community transmission rates and infections in Alaska is high, and projected to remain so through November; and the resilience of the local medical infrastructure (for example, ICU bed capacity and medical staffing) is significantly impacted.
The Council understands the advantages of meeting in-person, but given the level of uncertainty (infection rates, travel limitations for Federal staff, etc.), and the change of meeting dates required with switching to a virtual meeting, the Council wants to provide as much advance notice as possible for planning the remainder of the year. Staff will be evaluating longer-term planning options for 2022 to resume in-person or hybrid meetings, and will report on these options in October.