Jo Koy comedy event at Carlson Center postponed until March 2021

The Carlson Center is still staged to act as an overflow health care facility. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Jo Koy “Just Kidding World Tour” event, scheduled for Thursday, August 13 has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 14th, 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns.

The comedy event had already been rescheduled from March 15th of this year due to worries surrounding the pandemic. It is the latest in a growing number of scheduled events to be cancelled or postponed, including high school graduations and the University of Alaska Fairbanks commencement ceremony.

According to Kristin Baysinger, general manager of the Carlson Center, the decision to reschedule was a collaborative one between ASM Global -- the company that manages the center -- and the event’s promoter.

“It’s definitely been a different process during this time. We’re definitely not used to something like this. It has been pretty slow, it’s been pretty quiet, which we’re not used to. We’re used to lots of activity all the time. But we’re willing to do anything that we need to do in order to support the community and provide any services that we’re able to,” she said.

The Carlson Center is still prepared to act as an overflow health care
facility in case a spike in COVID-19 cases should overwhelm hospital services in Fairbanks. THe Center has 100 beds ready and waiting.
Clint Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of Foundation Health Partners Shared Services, said the Alaskan Interior’s Unified Incident Command, the Alaska Emergency Operations Center, and the state Department of Health and Social Services are scheduled to meet and come to a decision about the future use of the Carlson Center at the end of June.

“There’s a lot of aspects to determining whether we should keep it another month or another two months. To try to put a number on it... that would be hard to do,” he said.

According to Brooks, factors that go into the decision of when to dismantle the health care facilities from the center include infection rates in the state and interior, and number of hospitalizations from COVID-19.

“There’s been those that have predicted that we’re going to see a second wave. How big that wave is, we don’t know,” he said.

When the Carlson Center reopens, there are regularly scheduled weekly events which may use the space, including weekly meetings of the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club.

In addition, larger events remain scheduled for August including the Interior Alaska Builders Association Home Show.

Although when the center can resume event management is uncertain, Baysinger sees the importance of its current status. “We look forward to holding events again as soon as it’s safe to do so for the public. Events will look a little bit different than they have been in the past, and we want to be able to keep our employees and clients and guests safe and healthy. That’s our top priority,” she said.

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