Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday quietly voted to end most of the remaining local health mandates for the COVID-19 pandemic.
That includes local health orders on in-person attendance at public meetings and a requirement that businesses bringing workforce to town submit COVID mitigation plans to the borough for review. Those are both repealed immediately along with another mandate and a separate health alert on travel testing. For the time being testing will still be available for travelers at the Petersburg airport. With the repeal of those measures, that testing is a recommendation and not a requirement.
Meanwhile, one health mandate requiring pre-approval for cruise ships docking in Petersburg was to continue through the end of September. However, the borough’s incident commander Karl Hagerman recommended that expire at the end of this month, with the end to the local emergency declaration.
Hagerman and the local emergency operations center is disbanding with high vaccination rates in Petersburg and low case numbers.
The vote to end those health orders was unanimous and the assembly did not debate keeping any of those measures. They did hear support for the local response during the pandemic.
Jennifer Bryner praised Hagerman and the EOC.
“Karl was an outstanding choice at the EOC incident commander,” Bryner said. “He has been an excellent communicator, has put a lot of thought and research into each recommendation, has acted in a timely manner, but has also shown patience and restraint to not overreact or to react too quickly to changing situations. It’s been an excellent experience to work with Karl and his team. And I feel the joint response to the COVID-19 pandemic was exceptional and made a positive impact to the health of our community.”
Bryner is chief nursing officer at the Petersburg Medical Center and she also praised the work of the staff at the community hospital.
Likewise, assembly member Chelsea Tremblay praised the work of the emergency operations center and the hospital.
“Thank you to the EOC and PMC for all your service in this last year and a half,” Tremblay said. “To the larger community, everyone that got vaccinated is protecting your neighbors by doing that and you have enabled us to get to this stage as a larger community. So to each and every person who got us to that point, however big or small, give yourselves a pat on the back and I hope you get to enjoy your summer.”
Petersburg had one active COVID case as of Monday. The assembly last week voted to lift the face covering mandate and call an end to the emergency at the end of the month. Local officials are still encouraging vaccination for any who hasn’t received a shot. There’s an incentive drawing underway this month and the first 500 dollar winners were announced for this week.
The assembly also voted unanimously to spend 10-thousand dollars from the borough’s contingency fund to be awarded to the members of the EOC.
The final planned COVID panel discussion on KFSK will be this Friday at 12:30 p.m.