Has Anchorage mayor backtracked on closing restaurants and bars? - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, June 23, 2021
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Has Anchorage mayor backtracked on closing restaurants and bars?

Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson may have backtracked on her decision to close down restaurants on Monday. But it’s now unclear. Must Read Alaska has learned she has scrubbed her announcement, which was scheduled for Thursday.

In a text shared with Must Read Alaska, the mayor has decided to wait until she hears more from the local hospitals about whether shutting down restaurants.

“We’re going to pause on the new EO [Emergency Order] until next week or so. Hospitals want a few more days with the data before we move. It’s still bad, but they want to make the call after Friday. Nobody wants to shut down, so we’re making sure the data is solid,” according to the text, which was sourced to an unnamed city employee.

Earlier, another memo circulated among leaders in the restaurant and bar industry, which detailed a meeting several had had with the mayor, in which she told them that on Thursday she was announcing the closure of Anchorage restaurants and bars on Monday.

Now, it appears the mayor is taking her directions from local hospital administrators about the capacity of the hospitals.

COVID-19 has been on the march through Anchorage this fall, with positive tests on the increase every day for the past two weeks.

But on Wednesday, only 12 positive cases were reported in Anchorage. Over the course of the pandemic, 13,292 cases have been diagnosed positive in Anchorage, with 61 deaths, a death rate of less than 1/2 percent.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Walmart employees are cutting thru the checkout lines, saying “Excuse me.” They move around the store such as the liquor area. I spoke to a supervisor and she said “The employee said excuse me.” Not acceptable. They walk right next to you rather than walk around breaking the 6 foot distance

    • Stop shopping at WalMart if that bothers you.

    • Don’t put it up with that crap. Complain to the manager or ram them with your own cart and say excuse me.

    • Those peons! How dare they!

    • Then stay home

    • Shop online then go pick up your order when notified it is ready by store. Also seen customers get close to employees and what about the customers who don’t wear masks or just use them as chin supports.

  • This article incorrectly states there were only 12 cases reported out of Anchorage on Wednesday.

    On Wednesday, there were 251 Anchorage cases. In addition, 25 were reported from Eagle River, 10 from Chugiak, and 1 from Girdwood.

    Source: Data Summary Tables https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

    Note: the “COVID cases by onset date” graph on the same page (DHSS Covid Dashboard) has reported incorrect data for several days, and does report only 12 cases for Anchorage Wednesday; but a simple at-a-glance examination of that graph showing that it has suddenly erroneously reported dramatic declines including less than 50 total statewide cases should be enough to prompt those closely following this to realize the error.

      • This is because the graph you are looking at on the data hub is reporting onset date. That’s why Wednesday now shows 57, not 12.

    • Oops, they let the real numbers leak

  • Shut down the bars. They’re responsible for way more cases than restaurants. Keep the restaurants open at reduced capacity and see how it goes. It doesn’t make sense to shut them both down in tandem every time cases rise. Just shut down in-house alcohol sales except with a meal and see if that’s enough to bring cases down. If not, then consider closing restaurants as well. A mask mandate with teeth (significant fines for violations) would do more than anything!

    • Rather than the hammer, perhaps you ought to consider the velvet glove. No business wants to be responsible for making its patrons sick. Perhaps a gentle suggestion for bars and restaurants to consider installation and continuous operation of UVC lights (used to sanitize spaces in hospitals, mass transit, and airline cabins) in the ceiling and move air past them to sanitize the aerosols would work better.

      You are aware, of course, that two major studies on masking were published last week. The Danish one said masking has no statistical impact on the spread of disease. The other one said that masks work. Which one to believe? Either? Both? And yet you want to drop the enforcement hammer on your neighbors. Be careful they don’t figure out how to drop the same hammer on you sometime in the not so distant future. Cheers –

      • There is a willingness, almost a glee on the left, to impose its will on its political and philosophical foes during all this. It transcends the issue. It really seems like, just as much as a lot on the right don’t want to be told what to do, and whether the mask works or not is secondary, there is definitely palpable energy about just the act of forcing the right to bend to their will. Admittedly, I’m not unbiased, I don’t think the masks are very effective, and I also, don’t like being told what to do, but it’s interesting to note the two camps. One wants to be left alone. It may consider hard data, if it’s solidly put together, but it’s default mode is “..leave me alone and you police yourself..”. The other, is almost rooting for more chaos because you can see in the way they demonize those who oppose them, and insult anyone who doesn’t share their view…happily…it’s almost as if the masks and the disease are just an excuse to get their ideological enemies to bend to their will. This is most on display if you ever watch a live stream of public testimony on this. The people there, in person, are overwhelmingly against mandated behavior and lockdowns. The people commenting anonymously online? Are not interested in thoughtful discourse least. For them, it’s win win; they can either force their political enemies (also formerly known as their friends and neighbors) to do something they don’t want to do (which gives them joy) or they can insult them with impunity. They seem to take great delight in both.

        The two ideological tendencies could not be more on display.

        • Have you heard of T.A.P.?
          The Trump Accountability Program, a list of any and all President Trump supporters that could be used to penalize those who supported a standing President. This was originally overt but due to large number of Americans seeing this as communist style of political retribution, the group has, for now, went back underground. A member of the U.S. house of representatives supports this project.
          Know your neighbors, know your friends, and know which of them will become your enemies if this all goes sideways. Stock up on food and ammunition as there may be a need for it, especially with a long term federal lockdown.

      • Well said, particularly the “enforcement hammer.”

        • Exactly. Don’t frequent places you aren’t comfortable with. Change your behavior. Don’t impose your lifestyle change on others.

    • We don’t even have a law “with teeth” to prevent panhandling in this town, and you want to bring the force of law and waste police time with enforcing dress codes?

      The kind of people who defy good guidance on this probably aren’t the kind who can or would pay a citation for it, or happily would.

      Don’t waste the police on something unless you want to put “force” in enforcement:


  • Correction: Alaska had 549 resident cases reported Wednesday and 251 were in Anchorage. Additionally, 25 were from Eagle River, 10 from Chugiak, and 1 from Girdwood.

    • At the same time the Matsu Borough recorded 28 new cases. The 2020 population of the Matsu Borough is listed as about 110,000 people. This is about a third of the Municipality of Anchorage’s population. That means that in this dataset, the Matsu Borough, which has never had a mask mandate, averaged about 25 recent infections per 100,000 population compared with Anchorage’s rate of about 87 per 100k, which is 3.5 times the Matsu rate. Who knows, perhaps wearing a face covering that provides a convoluted, warm, moist environment shielded from UV light, a near optimal condition for microorganisms and fungus to thrive in, and regularly forcing air thru said covering (and around after the mask pores clog with detritus), actually could increase disease propagation.

  • Why are restaurants constantly maligned? They are responsible for how many of the current hospitalizations? My well informed answer… few to none. People are spreading covid in close friend and family groups. So who gives a flip what hospital capacity is? Why should that affect dining? It shouldn’t. It is time that the dining industry got together and filed a class action lawsuit. The Alaska courts are completely corrupt and worthless but this is worth taking to SCOTUS. You will win. Get it going. Every Anchorage restaurant kick in 1k. You will take these tyrants on and win. Then go for damages. Don’t wait. Enough is enough. Hospitalizations and dining are NOT linked.

    • Because to the left, the private sector is ALWAYS the enemy.
      Ironic, to say the least, since the Lefts new masters are big media, and big tech; some of the wealthiest people and largest corporations in the world. Little Sally Socialist, who hates the rich and wants an end to capitalism and personal property, is working for the 1%.

  • We’ll see… I suspect it’s all for show.

    • Yes it is

  • She did just pause. She knows the score. She’s been here all year. Now she pauses. What a leader…….NOT. I love the pic where she appears to be hugging herself. Pretty much sums it up.

    • That’s what I was thinking, she just can’t get over herself.

    • There’s a LOT to hug apparently. She needs to find a gym that she hasn’t closed.

  • If masks make such a HUGE difference then why are so many people getting this CCP virus.

    • Masks do not make any significant difference whatsoever.

      More and more evidence of that every day. Huge Danish study, acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
      Masks made no difference.

      And the study that was often cited as proof masks work has been withdrawn by the authors because…. wait for it…. The areas they studied had positive COVID result surges on par with places where mask use is not a prevalent.


      Yeah, this is health safety theater, nothing more.

      • Best advice is to avoid indoor gatherings (low sunlight, low air movement) where you’re sharing air with people. That much is pretty solidly known.

        If you want to socialize, Alaskan-up and do it outside.

        Develop a small group of quarantine buddies if they are as committed as you to minimizing exposure outside circle.

  • Socialism is not pretty when government runs out of other peoples money. Everything we going through is positioning the pink salmon upstream to turn into a red communist salmon. Maybe the over protected Americans need to experience and learn socialism Sucks when the under educated realizes it by their own unfortunate experience. This is what happens when generations remove God out of their lives and stop regularly attending church, they replace God with government security thinking government can provide better stability and safety only to realize later it leaves its citizens in a wake of heartache after its taken over your life.

    • Needs to be said more often and the socialism creep into our lives day after day is frightening….and unless turned back will surely destroy our once great nation….

    • That’s not true. The Jews never once left GOD out of their lives and yet they were slaughtered. Holy rollers always come out of the woodwork during times of uncertainty. Remember the disciples all thought the end of time was coming in their lifetimes. If you want to pray that’s fine, if it gives you comfort, or helps you get up in the morning . But don’t blame the current election results on being a godless country. Perhaps you should lay that stone down.

  • Hospitals are multibillion dollar corporations that have the charge of maximizing shareholder return on investment. Part of that charge is to fill as many beds as possible at the least cost to the facility. There exists zero reason to assume a for profit entity would forgo those profits in order to satisfy the wishes of some uninformed politician that has no logical progression skills. Shutting down for profit businesses is an unconstitutional act and violates over 200 years of precedent as it pertains to individual rights.

  • You seem to be confusing “Onset Date” with “Report Date”. Considering the volume of positive tests, no doubt the onset dates are not updated fully yet.

  • Maybe the acting mayor read my comment in your 11-17th article (Ask the hospital Admin their opinion}. lol. Actually, now she can save face and not extend that illegal emergency order which didn’t get the 9 votes!

    • Ditto!

  • Anchorage has no mayor. It has a kommisar.

  • The Data Summary Table towards the bottom of the hub indicates how many new cases are being reported. The Alaska DHSS website supports the case numbers being reported on the Data Summary Table and so does the Coronavirus Response Anchorage website. Maybe Must Read Alaska could research and report on why the graph on the data hub is not correlating with the numbers being reported everywhere else.

  • I’m more concerned with the narcissistic faux mayor’s “self-love” picture you posted. #WTF is that all about?

  • Acting mayor. Acting.

  • Don’t worry, the mandates are coming. Isn’t it great that you can stop in the drive-thru covid testing on your way to the grocery store? How convenient. I’ve an idea-avoid those people. People talk to each other at church, restaurants, ect, and they may find, as at this forum, that most of us share common views in regards to this fiasco instead of what is being pumped out on the “news ” and socialist media. I have never entertained conspiracy theories in my life, but… what else can you make of this? The majority of small businesses are owned by the right, so you can see why they pose a threat. Large corporations are making good money on all this, look at “Fast Freddie’s “, aka Kroger, whose stocks are rising with the help of price gouging. Would you like to round up for the food bank? No thanks, our previous Mayor already did that with our tax money. And the Cares money, that was meant for small businesses. I can’t keep up with the mandates, don’t know from week to week if my business can be open or not, but my customers are so glad and thankful when I am open that I put up with the stress and try to serve them. Every one of them expresses the same frustration that I read here. The place for government is to make us aware of threats, not to be parents. There is risks in every endeavor, and we should be free to midicate them as we see fit. If others are not concerned enough to wear a mask, get one that actually works and wear it. Or hide. The rest of us, let us alone. You don’t know who has already had this, got over it and are not concerned. That is not a number that will ever be published. Antibody tests seem to no longer important, because someone in some country supposedly caught it twice. And we all know the reliability of testing. Trust the science. Cheers!

  • The Anchorage Assembly is drunk with power. It doesn’t occur to a wannabe despot that NOT evoking force is the proper thing to NOT do in a free society. I said in in the early ’90’s: “The fall of the Soviet Union will end up being the worst thing to happen to America.” There’s no longer a ‘standard’ to look upon as an example of what NOT to become. The Anchorage Politburo.

  • Just one question Suzanne, Where did you get that descriptive picture of the Mayor? My guess is that something that juicy couldn’t be fabricated by a cynic in opposition to her Honor. Please spill the beans…

  • Real mature Greg…Sure, just react instantly with violence. Remember – there are a lot of workers out there doing their best to continue serving self-righteous individuals such as yourself. They are constantly in an environment around rude customers. So get off your high horse, most of them are doing their best, most likely busier then normal due to the pandemic.

    All so you can waddle in your convenience store with your hazmat suit on ( I’m betting you’re one of those “people” who drive around in their own vehicle while wearing their mask ?) nose stuck in the air, shop/buy your groceries all the while judging and being critical. Even resorting to violence (I mean c’mon…”ram them with your own cart.” WTH is wrong with you? You obviously depend on these stores to remain open to survive. Take yourself down a few pegs because it’s people like you that are a huge negative contributing factor. Guess what? You are no better than anyone else. So maybe before you jump to violence….. Stop and take a moment to analyze the situation as well as reasons and so forth.

  • What’s really going on nothing from this so called new Mayor, what the heck is she just here for show, do your freaking job and protect Alaskans or step aside, what the heck are hoy afraid of for what’s best for people living we are dying out here people have live thru great depressions,there is too much privilege in America, you have to suffer thru some things, its not gonna kill you people to live without your big show car and Gucci purses,get over yourselves can’t spend that money you making if you’re dead. Mayor do your job! IJS

    • Let us hope the mayor reconsiders closures. It’s about personnel responsibility if you are afraid for your life. Take responsibility for controlling your weight, controlling your diabetes, controlling your social bubble, controlling your mask behavior. Your can’t rely on your neighbors.

  • This whole situation makes me sad. It’s horrible we can’t rely on our neighbors anymore to help each other. It’s like saying our neighbor wants to do what they want and could care less about hurting anyone or anything. So should the people who care about getting sick or getting others sick stay inside and the people who don’t care can go outside and do what they want? It almost feels like people are more concerned over their rights than their neighbors being safe. It makes me want to cry about how this is ripping our state apart. It sucks they are closing the restaurants because of all the confusing information out there. I do believe that shutting everything down again is not gonna help our economy. Should we follow what the hospital is saying about them pleading with everyone to close everything? Does their opinion matter more since they are literally down in the trenches? It’s just all messed up. If we shut down and everything gets better from slowing down the virus, but we will have no economy when we open again. And if the cases keep rising and more people start dying like the other states then that also messes with the economy. It just sucks. There is no winning. And wearing masks versus not also has too much confusing information. Has it been long enough to get accurate results from any research? Are there any agendas people may have that are doing the research on whether they personally believe masks are good versus the ones who personally believe that they are not? The other thing is how do we really know where people are getting sick? Do we go with the restaurants who want to stay open saying people don’t get sick there or people wanting to shut down saying it’s the restaurants fault? How can anyone really say it’s one places fault? So is shutting down the restaurants gonna change anything? The only thing guaranteed by shutting down the restaurants is our economy is the thing that will suffer. The last bit that is frustrating me is why would the mayor and governor want to hurt their own state? It doesn’t make a lot of sense for the people who are suppose to represent us decide to kill their own state. If it’s really about the power and fear versus the virus then it doesn’t make sense for them to use their power to ruin their own state. If everything is ruined what’s the point of having power over it? I know I’m repeating some of my statements but I’m not great at getting my ideas across sometimes especially when I’m so frustrated but I wanted my voice to also be heard. I have never written on these forums before but putting this out there really makes me feel better. I hope more people will put their voices out there because I believe everyone has a right to be heard. Everyone stay safe out there.

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