Dunleavy announces new health mandates

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a COVID-19 news conference on July 7, 2020. (Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Wednesday that he’s mandating masks for state workers and people who go into state-owned buildings and facilities. 

The idea, he said, is to help contain the surge in cases of COVID-19 in Alaska.

“Starting tomorrow, you’re going to be required to stay 6 feet. If you cannot do that, we’re asking you to wear a face mask, we’re requiring you to wear a face mask,” he said during a Wednesday evening press conference. 

Up until now the state has strongly encouraged masks but has not mandated it. And, when Anchorage passed its own mask mandate, Dunleavy’s administration sought to block it from applying to state employees.

Since then, several other cities have passed mask mandates including Juneau, Gustavus, Seward, Valdez and Cordova. 

The mandate for state workers goes into effect on Thursday.