State Offices exempt from Berkowitz mask mandate - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 11, 2020
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State Offices exempt from Berkowitz mask mandate

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson on Friday sent a notice to the State of Alaska workforce that once they are inside State office buildings or facilities in Anchorage, the Anchorage mayor’s mask mandate does not apply, and they may wear them if they are comfortable, or not wear them.

“The Governor supports State of Alaska employees that want to voluntarily wear facemasks or face coverings to assist in the mitigation of COVID-19,” Clarkson wrote in a memo, referring to the Wuhan coronavirus that has become a global pandemic and which has created a patchwork of myriad changing government policies.

As expected on Friday, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz enacted a mandate, something he made clear is an “order” that all people inside the municipality of Anchorage wear masks when in public places. He said it is not a mandate.

That is a distinction that is difficult for the public to understand, especially because his press release specifically says “Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued Emergency Order EO-13, mandating the use of cloth face coverings or masks in the Municipality of Anchorage. EO-13 takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 29, 2020, and remains in effect until July 31, 2020.”

The mandate/order is the Berkowitz response to people not wearing masks voluntarily, and the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days. He has scolded the public for flouting the good practices that have been guidelines to prevent the spread of the extremely contagious virus.

“To support the increase in economic activity following the lifting of the Hunker Down order, and to protect public health, everyone in Anchorage must wear a face covering when in a public space such as a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant or bar, retail store, and other common indoor areas,” the mayor said.

“COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the Lower 48 and case counts have risen in Anchorage,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “Unfortunately, not enough people are practicing the distancing needed to keep the curve flat, so we have a choice between doing nothing, hunkering down, or masking up. Masking up makes a difference. When enough of us do it, we can flatten the curve, keep our businesses open, and our community safe.”

Exceptions to his order include:

• children under two years old 
• individuals with health conditions who are unable to tolerate wearing a face covering or mask due to a physical or mental disability 
• individuals performing an activity that cannot be accomplished, or accomplished safely while wearing a mask

Berkowitz’ order says employers are responsible to provide masks or cloth face coverings to employees who have direct contact with others. Additional details are outlined in the Emergency Order, the mayor said, but the order was not posted on the city’s website, nor is not something most people will be able to easily find. The entire emergency order is at this link:

“Face coverings do not replace physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people), frequent hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, and routine cleaning and disinfecting of regularly touched surfaces,” Berkowitz said.

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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

  • Alaska Division of Homeland Security stated that mandates are not law. The 4th amendment has not been suspended. You do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine at the airport. Not a law . No one can force you to wear a mask.

    • You are not an attorney. Mandates are executive orders.

      • Greg-
        Are you an attorney?

        • No, but he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

      • Mandates have no Law behind them and as such will have no weight in a Court of Law. No forcing function!!

  • If he was so worried about the spread of the virus, why did he not shut down the airport where people from the lower 48 are coming in from

    • Because the State owns the airport, not the Municipality. Berkowitz has no power over the airport.

      • Well, then, why didn’t Mayor San Francisco publicly send a letter to the governor requesting to shut down the airport like he did with Eklutna village regarding the Captain Cook statue?

  • Control freak, “because I can”. Typical lobby. We would all be better off if he took his ball and ran home to momma.

  • I wear a mask and think it’s the polite thing to do though I doubt its efficacy. After hearing Berkowitz say that I have to though I’m seriously reconsidering. He seems more like a bossy dork each time I happen to notice.

    The mandate / order / suggestion without a shred of authority makes him look like a toad.

    Giving a statue of Cook away that belongs to the people (not to him) makes him look like an idiot.

    …and the State A/G just made it clear that I’m not the only one with that impression.

    • Might be fun to split the difference…
      Buy an MRAK “Trump 2020” mask, wear it to prevent the spread of liberalism.

      • Ha! I bought an MRAK “Make Alaska Great Again” mask a while back and where it all over the south end!

  • Oh this is great news. Maybe I’ll go hang out at DMV since I don’t have to wear a mask, or maybe the lobby of fin and feathers.

  • The airport dog and pony show is not required, you can walk right past it, nobody can make you do a damn thing that is in violation of legislation enacted by a legislature or enshrined in the constitution. Nobody can make you wear a mask unless it is an employer HR manual as required uniform. You have the right, and obligation, to provide for yourself with regard to any issue where you feel exposed, whether climbing a mountain or moving around in public. You have a greater chance of being in a car wreck than getting sick from the virus. These “mandates” are empty hot air from a self important lame duck politician attempting to magnify his purpose in the hope of advancing his political ambitions.

  • Also why was he not wearing a mask and not staying 6ft away from the lady he was secretly whispering to in the City Council Meeting?? Little Tyrant is doing nothing but acting out on a power trip. Sorry.. Masks are not gonna save anyone and this entire thing is a joke. I’m glad I don’t live in Anchorage… Funny the rest of the state isn’t doing what he is… Talk about little man syndrome! Do as I say and not as I do!

  • The mayor was asked, “Who is exempt from the mask mandate” at his press conference, he failed to mention this in his rambling doublespeak diatribe.

  • The tax cap was ignored.

    Is there any reason the same dictator’s “mandate” ought not get the same treatment?

    If one wears a mask it should be because of concern for oneself or for the welfare of others if you feel you might be spreading what sane people used to call germs.

    The lawlessness in the mayor’s office and in Juneau will continue until we, Alaskan voters, stamp it out at the ballot box.

    Viva November!!!

  • One more reason to stay out of anchor town

  • Whatever…. I do not acknowledge his ridiculous order, and I will not abide by it. The Mayer is puppet of the democratic base, and complete idiot.

    Good luck enforcing that ridiculous mandate/order with a disrespected and unsupported police force.

    What a joke….

  • Of course they’re exempt. They know very well this is all utter bs and they’re sitting there laughing at all the obedient little sheep who are drooling at their feet in blind sycophantic adoration. Berkotwit will stop at nothing to get a mail in election so he and his ilk can turn Alaska blue. And they plan on that, don’t doubt it for a second. With Dunleavy in the collective liberal and main stream media hip pocket, as he follows the liberal party line to a tee, we have no chance without doing things none of us want to do. Dunleavy has probably been a shill the whole time. He sure is no conservative.

    • This is going on world wide. I doubt there is a big conspiracy in ANC just to anger the few thousand complainers. AK is so insignificant on the world stage, that they don’t even keep score. In other words, ANC doesn’t matter.

      • Anchorage is a hugely significant military city on a global scale. Anchorage matters to the globalist puppetmasters like you’d obviously never know.

  • Got an idea! Remember the NYC text of a picture of someone that isn’t “social distancing, or wearing a mask”?
    We need to find out the phone number to this “Code Enforcement” and just tie up the phones! Demand they come out where we the people are not wearing masks. Force their hand. Make them either show the toothless puddie cats they really are or cite us and then we rip up the citation and demand a court date with a jury of our peers!

  • Dunleavy evidently decided to let the people of Anchorage simmer in the stew they made of themselves, the Anchorage economy, and social order when they elected Ethan “He’s our Friend” Berkowitz. You got what you voted for, Anchorage, so what’s the problem?

  • Outstanding,
    The little “stud duck” discovers he’s not that at all. “Orders” from that little duck are only for Alaskans that live in the jurisdiction given him by the ‘office’ of mayor as an “emergency protocol”. Not everyday political manipulation. Poor Anchorage citizens. They could all be ‘free’ from the little duck’s grab for ‘domination’ over them, if only they took a stand for common sense and reasonable responses to the farce called ‘wuhan v’. You know, like the “protestors” are doing nationwide for ‘dubious’, nefarious reasons. No doubt serious issues are in store for those vulnerable if they catch wuhan v, with other overshadowing medical problems or age induced health risks that we all will face. Life is that way. Lyrics from an old song, ‘rye whiskey’, are reminiscent. “If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live ’till I die”. Just about time to push back in a meaningful way, conservatives. Time marches on and waits for no one. So do leftist political hacks and their minions.
    November is coming.

    . Sounds harsh but reality bites.

  • This is beyond the point of ridiculous. I can’t “make you” cover your mouth when you cough or wash your hands after you use the bathroom. I can’t “make you” wait your turn or not pick your nose in front of me. That said, there are thousands of common courtesies that I hope we were all taught that we do for ourselves and others. I honestly don’t see any difference except that this is political somehow – if so we’re all in trouble.

  • There is no enforcement arm in government to enforce mandates. Concerns or complaints are to be emailed to investigations @ alaska . gov. The same people who investigate welfare fraud, food stamp fraud, ect.

  • Fear of the virus among parts of the population suppresses consumer behavior at the margins. This small change in behavior leads to economic damage. You can look at Sweden and France. While France shut down, Sweden diddn’t. Both however, are seeing their economies tanking. This thing won’t be solved until people feel safe.

    Mask wearing isn’t fun, but it is a low cost public health intervention that helps more people feel safe participating in the economy during this pandemic. Mask wearing sucks, but it ultimately is pro-business.

    • This is a virus. It’s never going away now. It was unnaturally mutated into what it is today, and partial funding to do this was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease that Dr. Anthony Fauci has headed for over 20 years after President Obama put a halt to funding such “research” in the U.S. because of fears by Fauci’s peers that the exact thing that happened might happen.
      In addition to this virus never going away, the world is also currently falling apart politically due to anarchists and communists lashing out with their ideological last breaths.
      The common man will never “feel safe” again in your lifetime. This isn’t going to get better tomorrow. It’s going to get worse. You haven’t seen squat yet…………..

  • Berkowitz, masking the mic and not his mouth. Imagine that. Guess that’s what a Berkeley education gets you. 2021 can’t come soon enough.

  • Something to ponder.. If you conceal/open carry firearms daily, isn’t wearing a mask while carrying a felony..?

    • Under Alaska Statute 11.61.190 to 11.61.190 nothing is stated that carry concealed while wearing a mask is a felony.

    • Depends on the state. Not in Florida. Not sure about AK.

  • Vote for Ethan Berkowitz for Governor! is a vote for more of the same on a Bigger scale

  • Astounding. This virus has about as much impact in the state of Alaska as every other day to day threats of life that we all have rightfully assessed the risk of navigating on our own. Like some abstract scene from a David Lynch movie, everyone seems anesthetized to the embarrassingly low numbers of COVID affects, especially with regards to the original prospects. This mayor has been chomping the bit to ‘parent’ the people of this city that he is supposed to serve, not rule (guess he emulates Cuomo). Despite the ‘numbers’, the concern is about how many find it so disturbing that a citizen would NOT wear a mask to appease anothers’ fears based on NOT knowing who is and isn’t infected that they would invite and advocate FORCE, without any consideration that the fearful, with all the defended rights to NOT expose themselves in public environs, are inducing an overt assault upon the private spaces, personal dignity and liberties of other citizens without batting an eye (and probably ‘high-fiving’ one another as well over their ‘victory’ of this ‘non-political’ behavioral mandate). These days, citing principles and tenets over the ink and parchment of constitution ideology gets a scoff and guffaw, NOT from un/undereducation (principles that are singularly pristine and easy to comprehend) but a contempt for them. The obvious is ignored with glassy eyes like the commoners in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. The most benign of a persons liberties trampled on by anothers arbitrary parameters defined by the fluid religion of ‘safety’ (Peace be upon it) is the imminent blueprint for the next (I’ve read ‘gun ownership’ as comparable to a viral plague……….). Trump is touting record job numbers, record economy the year following an election, like a Javelin missile strike, those very subjects are devastated in a way unprecedented in national history. All just before his election campaign. Not to mention the, literally, ravenous congressional savagery to remove him from office his entire term. That the influenza virus, year after year, though not as great in number, inflicts a HUGE number of deaths in the US – none of which has ever registered in the back of the minds of every citizen who was not ordered to fear THAT virus. But all of this is tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theory. Fact is, it’s never been so obvious. Desperation assures that. Mayor Mandate finally gets his moment to enjoy the endorphin high of controlling others – if not even more to come. If all are so giddy about making your neighbor wear a mask so you wont feel so ridiculous for wearing one yourself, would you be equally receptive to a reemergence of alcohol prohibition? The DWI death toll is staggering. Yet why is prohibition ‘evil’? Isn’t it about ‘LIFE’? I expect the next UPTICK of alcohol related deaths, we’ll all be forced to walk to work, or take a bus (unless your a state worker).

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