Who should wear a mask in Anchorage and where? Here is an overview of the new ordinance.
The Anchorage Assembly on Thursday overturned Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto on an emergency mask ordinance.
This means that the masking rules for the city are back.
Here’s a breakdown of who needs to wear a mask now and where.
Who does the mandate impact on?
The ordinance states: “All persons should wear face masks or face covers over their nose and mouth when indoors in areas open to the public or which are common areas shared with others. persons not forming part of their household. ”
People may wear a face shield instead of a mask if they cannot tolerate a mask due to a mental or physical disability, if they communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or if they are doing an activity that It can’t be done safely with a mask, like a driver struggling with foggy glasses or a dental patient receiving care, the order says.
Are there any exceptions to the mandate?
There are many. And they understand:
• Children under 5 do not need to wear a mask in public places, although face coverings are recommended for children over 2 years old.
• Anyone in prison, in police custody or in a courtroom is exempt from the obligation to wear a mask.
• If you are presenting, performing, or communicating with an audience, you do not need to wear a mask as long as you are 10 feet from the audience and the audience is fully masked.
• If you are doing an activity that cannot be done safely with a mask, you are also exempt.
• The mayor’s team is exempt.
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And at work?
You do not need to wear a mask if you are in an enclosed workspace or if you are working alone in an open space.
You are also not required to wear a mask if you are in an enclosed workspace with several people who are all vaccinated. The space should be separated from the public and other unvaccinated employees.
What if someone is disabled?
If you are unable to tolerate a mask due to a physical or mental disability, you are exempt from the Mask Ordinance. “The statement of the individual or a guardian that he is exempt is sufficient proof,” says the order.
What about while at the gym or exercising?
You don’t need to wear a mask. But gyms or school district buildings may have their own rules for individual masks. The Anchorage School District, for example, requires masking in all of its buildings.
Also, if you are a spectator of a sporting event, you must wear a mask under the ordinance.
What about the church?
If you are in church or some other type of religious assembly, you are exempt from the mandate.
Read the full emergency order here.
As a business owner, how does the tenure affect me?
Businesses must deny entry to anyone violating the mask’s mandate, according to the ordinance. Employers are also required to ensure that their employees are masked when required, under the ordinance, and that they have access to masks.
How long does the masking order last?
The term of office will not last more than 60 days, unless it is extended by a vote of the Assembly.
But the masking rules could end sooner in two ways:
• The COVID-19 transmission rate in Anchorage falls below a high rate – as defined by the Centers for Disease Control – for 14 consecutive days.
• Two of the city’s three hospitals do not operate at a crisis level of care for 14 consecutive days. These hospitals: Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital and Alaska Native Medical Center.
How is the mask mandate applied?
It is a little less clear.
While a previous Assembly proposal, OA 2021-91, provided for a series of fines for mandate violations, the emergency ordinance approved by the Assembly does not contain any wording relating to fines. The only thing it says about the app is that “the Municipality reserves the right to use all available enforcement options to ensure compliance with this emergency ordinance.”
Another change in the new ordinance: there is no language on the execution of the mandate by citizens. In an amendment to the previous proposal, OA 2021-91, there would have been a way for citizens to report people or businesses that violated mask rules. It received a lot of criticism, with opponents saying it would encourage animosity among neighbors.
The emergency ordinance does not have such a language of citizen application.