Photo: Viktor Hanacek

Coronavirus numbers have surged to an "all time high" according to the Anchorage Health Department, so the municipality has issued an emergency order requiring the wearing of face coverings in most indoor public settings. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced he emergency order, which goes into effect at 8 a.m. Monday, at a community briefing on Friday.

Masks will be required inside public places such as bars, restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, elevators, public transportation, and office common areas. Restaurant customers do not need to wear masks while they are eating.

Children under the age of 2, any unsupervised child under 12 years old, and children attending day care or day camps are not required to wear masks. 

The order also says that someone can be exempt from the requirement if wearing a mask would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition or mental health condition. Those who are unable to tolerate a mask because of a physical or mental disability, or are unable to take off their face covering without assistance, has trouble breathing or is unconscious are also exempt from wearing a mask according to the emergency order.

Anchorage businesses are required to make sure their employees have access to masks, and that they are worn when employees interface with the public or work within six feet of each other.

Governor Michael Dunleavy issued a clarification that those working at State of Alaska offices located in Anchorage were not required but instead were encouraged to wear a mask at work.