CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR SUNDAY: Arctic Husky Travellers seeking homes for dogs, government seeks to boost local emergency rescue capabilities and more

sleddog

This story will be updated throughout the day. Photo of Nokas, left, a six-year-old “friendly and gentele sleddog,” by Tommy Jordbrudal.

Svalbard remains free of officially diagnosed cases of coronavirus as of Sunday afternoon and…regardless, all is not well.

While some more families in are being observed together doing “typical” leisure activities as the coronavirus crisis enters its third weekend in Longyearbyen, such as playing in fresh snow and gathering in the cafes/restaurants still open, one outdoorsy family is confronting the painful prospect of a breakup due to the near-total and likely months-long tourism crash.

“Due to this corona situation we at Arctic Husky Travellers are considering finding new homes for some of our furry friends, if we find the right family for them,” wrote Tommy Jordbrudal, a longtime musher and manager of the company, in a Facebook announcement Saturday that includes pictures and descriptions of each dog available. “All dogs, who are looking for a new homes, are happy, healthy and social Alaskan Huskies. Also perfect family dogs – all used to children.”

Those interested can contact Jordbrudal at the Facebook link or 9929 3943.

In other local happenings:

Svalbardposten reports Parliament is planning emergency service upgrades for Longyearbyen to serve as the “northernmost main base for Norwegian rescue services.” The plan “will be up for consideration in the spring, depending on how quickly Parliament gets time to work on non-corona cases.”

• Tio Moncho’s Mexican food truck is offering deliveries from 4-7 p.m.