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Anchorage

Read the full text of Anchorage’s new ‘easing up’ emergency order

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: December 29, 2020
  • Published December 29, 2020

MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE

PROCLAMATION OF ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY ORDER EO-17

EASING UP ORDER

ISSUED BY THE ACTING MAYOR OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE PURSUANT TO ANCHORAGE MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 3.80.060H.

Anchorage has been in a modified hunker down status for the month of December and narrowly avoided overwhelming our public health capacity. New case counts are down and decreasing, due to the collective sacrifices required by our previous emergency order and the individual actions of residents. This improvement warrants a careful loosening of restrictions imposed by EO-16. In order to preserve lives in our community and prevent the need to return to a modified hunker down during the remaining months of this pandemic, Anchorage must loosen restrictions in a way consistent with public health. In the month of January, public schools will begin a gradual return to the classroom, so more community members will be gathering relative to this fall. Meanwhile our first batch of frontline health care staff and vulnerable Alaskans living in long term care facilities will receive their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, meaning that increased staffed hospital capacity is coming but has not yet arrived. This order is designed to reduce restrictions on certain sectors of the economy while keeping the virus from reaching catastrophic levels.

The following findings about COVID-19 motivate these mandates and recommendations. First, COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. It moves from person to person through tiny respiratory droplets and aerosols that are released when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings. People become infected by inhaling these droplets or aerosols. Second, this virus spreads easily to people who are in close contact to a person with COVID-19, especially indoors, and especially when the contact lasts more than fifteen minutes. Third, even people with no symptoms can be highly infectious to the people around them. Fourth, keeping a safe distance-at least 6 feet-away from people outside your household is the best way to reduce transmission and prevent infection. Fifth, face coverings help protect the wearer and other people from COVID-19. Because of the above, Anchorage now needs the following restrictions on public interactions to preserve health and save lives in our community.

I HEREBY ORDER THE FOLLOWING EMERGENCY REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE AS OF 8:00 A.M. ON JANUARY 1, 2021. THE EMERGENCY REGULATIONS HAVE THE POWER OF LAW, SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL REVOKED OR RESCINDED, AND SHALL SUPERSEDE ALL CONFLICTING LAWS DURING THE EXISTENCE OF THIS EMERGENCY. THIS ORDER SUPERSEDES AND REPLACES EMERGENCY ORDER 16.

1. Individuals. Everyone in the Municipality of Anchorage (the “Municipality”) shall limit outings and physical contact with those outside of their household. On the occasions when individuals leave home, they shall maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from any person outside their household whenever possible. Individuals must avoid physically going to their workplace if it is possible to work remotely and should avoid physically entering indoor spaces outside the home to the greatest extent possible, instead using curbside or delivery services, minimizing the number of shopping trips, and minimizing the number of household members on each outing. Individuals are required to wear a face covering or mask in public, as detailed in Emergency Order 13. Individuals are also strongly encouraged to practice recommended hygiene, including regular hand washing.

2. Requirements for Individuals Likely to be Contagious with COVID-19. Individuals likely to be contagious with COVID-19 are required to minimize contact with others as follows:

a. People who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including the following symptoms when not attributable to other known causes: coughing, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, congestion or runny nose, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell) shall stay home except to seek medical care and testing.

b. As detailed in the State’s Health Order No. 6, individuals who have traveled from outside Alaska are required upon arrival/return to limit contact with others pending negative COVID-19 testing results or to self-quarantine.

c. Household members of those who are possibly contagious should exercise physical distancing and enhanced hygiene within the home, and refrain from leaving the home to the extent possible.

d. Individuals who learn that they have been a close contact of a positive case (within 6 feet for fifteen minutes during a 24-hour period) shall quarantine for the length of time directed by a public health professional.

e. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 shall remain in isolation during their infectious period, which is ten days following symptom onset (or a positive test date if asymptomatic) or for a different time period directed by their health care provider.

3. Gathering Limitations. All individuals must wear masks or face coverings and maintain six feet of physical distancing between household groups at all gatherings. Gatherings are defined as meetings or other events that bring together people from multiple households at the same time for a shared or group experience in a single room, space, or place such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting hall, or other indoor or outdoor space. All indoor gatherings are limited to six people in a single enclosed indoor space. All outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. The following exceptions apply to the gathering limits:

a. The gathering limitation does not limit drive-in events where groups remain within separate vehicles so long as no food, drink, or other goods are passed between vehicles.

b. The gathering limitation does not apply to daycares, day camps, or educational institutions for grades pre-K through 12. For capacity limitations for daycares and day camps, see Attachments A and B. Educational institutions with grades pre-K through 12 are subject to an indoor capacity limitation of 50% of classroom occupancy based on building and fire codes.

c. Wedding and funeral services without food or drink are subject to a limit of 20 people. Wedding or funeral receptions with food or drink are subject to the above limits of six people indoors or ten people outdoors.

d. The gathering limitation does not apply to gathering for the purpose of worship or political expression where masks are continuously worn and where food and drink are not consumed. Worship services and political expression gatherings are instead subject to a 50% indoor capacity limitation based on building and fire codes, and physical distancing should be maintained continuously between different households. All places of worship and political expression that are open to the public for gatherings must create written COVID-19 mitigation plans, maintain hard copies on site, make the plans available to congregants or other visitors, and train staff on implementation of the plans.

e. The gathering limitation does not apply to indoor shopping special events, such as craft fairs. These entities are instead subject to the limitations and other criteria in Attachment C.

f. University classrooms may continue to operate under the prior 15-person indoor gathering limitation.

4. Hospitality Industry (Including Bars, Breweries, Restaurants, and Nightclubs) Open at 25% Capacity Indoors with Limited Hours for Alcohol Service. All restaurants, bars, breweries, nightclubs and similar entities may operate at up to 25% of maximum building occupancy indoors and are limited to seated table service, while ensuring physical distancing between groups of customers. All businesses must stop serving alcohol after 11 :00 p.m. Additional requirements for the hospitality industry are provided in Attachment D. This industry should continue to prioritize outdoor dining, take-out, and delivery service.

5. Bingo Halls, Theaters, Private Clubs, and Other Entertainment Facilities Open at 25% Capacity. Indoor entertainment facilities, including bingo halls, theaters, bowling alleys, and arcades are limited to 25% of maximum building occupancy based on building and fire codes. Eating and drinking is permitted to the extent provided in Attachment H.

6. Organized Sports Subject to Limitations. Organized sports are closed to indoor competition between different teams. Most organized sports may conduct indoor practices and scrimmages with members of the same team. Because of environmental conditions that make indoor ice rinks more conducive to the spread of CO VID-19, teams engaged in ice sports may not conduct practices or scrimmages that require players or participants to be within ten feet of each other on ice indoors. Outdoor sports, including ice sports, may continue subject to the requirements in Attachment E. Additional requirements for organized sports are provided in Attachment E.

7. Indoor Gyms, Recreation and Fitness Centers are Limited to 50% of Capacity and Group Classes Limited. Indoor gyms, recreation and fitness centers are limited to 50% of building occupancy based on fire and building codes. Indoor group fitness classes require ten feet of physical distancing between participants. Face coverings are required while exercising indoors. Additional requirements for indoor gyms and fitness centers are provided in Attachment F.

8. Salons and Personal Care Service Providers Limited. Salons and personal care service providers are limited to 50% of maximum building occupancy based on fire and building codes. Additionally, these entities must cease providing services that require the removal of a mask such as facials or beard trimming. Additional requirements for this industry are provided in Attachment G.

9. Retail and Other Public-Facing Businesses. Retail stores and all other public-facing businesses not mentioned above are limited to 50% of maximum building occupancy based on fire and building codes and must operate in a manner sufficient to permit  customers to have 6 feet of physical distance from other household groups. These  businesses are encouraged to prioritize telephone and online ordering; increase their  offerings of curbside, entryway, and delivery services; and implement reserved hours of  operation limited to high-risk populations.

10. Legible Visitor Logs Required. Any establishments serving the public in a sit-down setting, or for an in-person appointment or service lasting fifteen minutes or longer shall require all adult customers or clients to sign in with legible contact information including first and last name, phone number, and email address in case it is needed for state or local contact tracing efforts. This information may be kept electronically. This information must be retained by businesses for not less than 30 days. Information in the visitor log will not be collected unless needed for contact tracing or enforcement of this order.

11. Communication to Employees and Others of Known COVID-19 Exposure Required. All businesses and other entities must promptly communicate to their employees and state and local public health departments (email: COVID-19-Business@anchorageak.gov) if a known or probable COVID-19 exposure occurred in the workplace. Businesses and other entities must assist the state and local health departments in the process of informing customers or clients of a known COVID-19 exposure at the workplace.

12. Additional Requirements for Hotels and Other Lodging. Management at hotels and other places of lodging must regularly inform employees working within the lodging and state and local public health departments (COVID-19-Business@anchorageak.gov) whether and to what extent the hotel is housing individuals who are in quarantine or isolation due to travel, possible exposure to COVID-19, or a diagnosis of COVID-19. Hotel management must inform employees that the names of individuals with COVID 19 shall be kept confidential, and that a violation of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action by management. Hotels must supply personal protective equipment, sufficient sanitation opportunities, and adequate cleaning supplies to employees.

13. Remote Work. Employers must require employees to work from home when their work can be accomplished remotely without significantly impeding business operations. Employers shall not knowingly permit symptomatic employees or others likely to be contagious with COVID-19 to enter the workplace or work outside the home.

14. Penalties. In addition to fines and other penalties currently provided by law, violations of this emergency order may result in mandatory suspension of activities or closure of individual businesses, non-profits, and other entities for a period of up to two weeks.

ISSUED this 29th day of December, 2020.

Austin Quinn-Davidson, Acting Mayor

Municipality of Anchorage

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