Bethel’s Cama’i Dance Festival postponed over coronavirus concerns

The smallest Kasigluk dancer performs with his community dance group at the Cama-i Dance Festival on March 16, 2018 in Bethel, Alaska. (Photo by Amara Freeman/ KYUK)

The Cama’i Dance Festival in Bethel has been postponed until Fall 2020 out of concerns over the coronavirus. Dance groups from across the region, the state, and the lower 48 gather every year in Bethel to share dance, culture, tradition, and community.

Linda Curda is the coordinator for the festival. She said in an email that the decision came to protect the health of Elders, and because spring break is in full swing for many schools with teachers and families who are traveling. Many of them would return the weekend of the festival, and Curda didn’t want to place anyone in jeopardy should someone be carrying the virus.

Health officials expect to detect a case of COVID-19 in the state soon, and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has suspended all non-essential out-of-state business travel for its employees. YKHC is one of the largest employers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

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