Anchorage loosens mask rules for vaccinated employees in workplaces

Fully vaccinated employees in Anchorage workplaces who are separated from both the public and unvaccinated coworkers no longer need to wear masks, city officials announced Tuesday.

The change to Anchorage’s mask mandate comes as an increasing share of residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine. By Tuesday, 40.1% of people in Anchorage age 16 and older had been vaccinated with at least one dose.

The change represents a balance between vaccine progress and the use of masks as a critical tool in reducing COVID-19, according to an emailed statement from acting mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson.

[Anchorage will get an estimated $100M in additional COVID-19 relief funds. Now officials must decide what to do with it.]

The city’s previous masking order required all employees to wear masks when around other people.

But now, employees who are fully vaccinated — meaning two weeks past a second shot of either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — do not need to wear a mask if they are away from both the public and unvaccinated employees.

“Employers are responsible for verifying vaccination status of their employees in a manner consistent with workplace anti-discrimination laws,” the release said.

The order changes went into effect at noon Tuesday. Masks are still required in indoor public places and at outdoor gatherings in public, officials said.

Morgan Krakow

Morgan Krakow is a general assignment reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Oregon and spent the summer of 2019 as a reporting intern on the general assignment desk of The Washington Post. Contact her at