Numerous trusted public health officials have identified that mask wearing is one of the most important COVID19 transmission mitigation measures. These health officials include the Alaska Chief Medical Officer, the Alaska Chief Epidemiologist, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control.
While it would be better if citizens voluntarily wore masks, they are not doing so in sufficient numbers to eliminate community transmission. Mitigation of this disease is critical for the well-being of our citizens, our businesses, our school system and our health care system.
This ordinance would require people to wear a face covering when in a publicly accessible indoor location or an indoor communal area outside the home. There are exceptions for people with disabilities or young children. The substance of this ordinance is nearly identical to Ord. 2020-35, except this ordinance would take effect immediately. This ordinance is very similar to the Anchorage mask mandate. As this is an emergency ordinance, it requires six votes to pass.