ANCHORAGE, AK — Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued Emergency Order EO-13, mandating the use of cloth face coverings or masks in the Municipality of Anchorage. EO-13 takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 29, 2020, and remains in effect until July 31, 2020.
Emergency Order EO-13 is in response to increasing case counts in Anchorage over the last few weeks. To support the increase in economic activity following the lifting of the Hunker Down order, and to protect public health, everyone in Anchorage must wear a face covering when in a public space such as a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant or bar, retail store, and other common indoor areas.
“COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the Lower 48 and case counts have risen in Anchorage,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “Unfortunately, not enough people are practicing the distancing needed to keep the curve flat, so we have a choice between doing nothing, hunkering down, or masking up. Masking up makes a difference. When enough of us do it, we can flatten the curve, keep our businesses open, and our community safe.”
Exceptions to this order include:
• children under two years old
• individuals with health conditions who are unable to tolerate wearing a face covering or mask due to a physical or mental disability
• individuals performing an activity that cannot be accomplished, or accomplished safely while wearing a mask
Employers are responsible to provide masks or cloth face coverings to employees who have direct contact with others. Additional details are outlined in the Emergency Order.
This emergency order follows recommendations by the Anchorage Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a face covering or mask reduces droplets passed on to others when people talk, cough, sing, or sneeze. Face coverings are especially helpful to prevent asymptomatic people from transmitting the virus to others.
Face coverings do not replace physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people), frequent hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, and routine cleaning and disinfecting of regularly touched surfaces.