Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson decreed on Friday that all school children in Anchorage shall wear masks. Even while playing sports, such as basketball, and certainly in classrooms, if they are ever able to actually attend school in person.
Currently, most children are still at home. Pre-K through second grade students are currently scheduled to return to classrooms on Nov. 16. The National Education Association has come out against schools reopening. Private school students are currently attending school in person.
The masking of children by the mayor who has no children was one in a series of orders Quinn-Davidson made as the positive cases of COVID are climbing across Alaska.
In addition to the mandate on children, Quinn-Davidson said those with disabilities who cannot wear masks covering their nose and mouth must wear face shields in public or simply stay home. All people who are exercising in gyms must also wear masks.
She said she is closing the “loophole” on masking.
Without calling it a lockdown or “hunker down” order, Quinn-Davidson is also once again limiting the number of people who may gather together in Anchorage. No more than 10 may gather together if they are eating or drinking and no more than 15 may gather indoors if they are not eating or drinking. Outdoors, the limits are 20 may gather if they are eating or drinking, and 30 may gather if they are not. Classrooms are capped at 50 percent capacity.
There are no specifics coming from Quinn-Davidson how this will impact restaurants or bars. At this point, restaurants can seat groups that are six feet apart or 10 feet apart if they are outside, an unlikely occurrence at this time of year, but an order that is on the books nonetheless. No one may sit at a bar in Anchorage under any circumstances.
Quinn-Davidson became mayor after former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz removed himself from the public arena after embarrassing photos of him naked surfaced, and his relationship with a news reporter made him the subject of national news.
Quinn-Davidson will be mayor until July 1, when the new mayor elected during the April 6, 2021 election is finally seated.
“I’ve been hearing that over and over again even before I started, from local businesses, saying if if we don’t have enforcement of our mandates, people won’t take them seriously. We know many are taking them seriously and we thank you for that. For those who can’t, we will be beefing up enforcement. We’ve posted three positions for code enforcement officers.”