The Soldotna City Council has passed a resolution requiring face masks be worn in public indoor areas of city-owned buildings whenever the Central Kenai Peninsula is seeing spiking cases of Covid-19.
Soldotna’s mask mandate was implemented in January, but had been relaxed in late May, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines.
The council vote was 5-1 in favor of reinstating the mandate, which says when there are more than 50 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 persons in the central Kenai Peninsula over the past 7 days, or if the percentage of positive tests reaches past 8 percent, the mask mandate will be in effect.
The new rule goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 16 for the main lobby and council chambers of Soldotna City Hall, the Soldotna Public Library, the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, and the public lobby of Soldotna Police Department, Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Maintenance Shop.
Soldotna’s city manager has the authority to interpret the mandate and make exceptions, for example people who are eating or drinking or to conduct tasks during which wearing a mask would not be safe. Children under the age of 2 are exempt.
Soldotna, on the Kenai Peninsula, has 4,649 residents in the city limits. There are two open seats on the Soldotna City Council for this October’s election.