Anchorage mayor says no new COVID-19 mandates this week

two assembly members at the Anchorage assembly meeting
Assembly chair Felix Rivera and Assembly member Austin Quinn-Davidson at the Anchorage Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The acting mayor of Anchorage said there will be no new mandates related to the coronavirus this week, but left the door open for new orders if virus cases continue to rise.

“I am not planning to take any action this week, but we are monitoring the situation closely,” Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson said in a statement Wednesday. “We will not allow our hospitals to become overrun.”

The announcement comes as the city and state have experienced a substantial increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, told reporters on Thursday that it is has become difficult for hospitals to provide adequate care to everyone that needs it due to an increasing amount of coronavirus patients.

The state reported its highest number of current hospitalizations with 129 patients on Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.

The acting mayor’s statement also followed rumors among the restaurant and hospitality industries that there may be a new set of mandates in Alaska’s biggest city, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

“It’s really unfortunate that something that was a proposed idea was blasted everywhere,” said Sarah Oates, the president of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association. “It just created a lot of tension and frustration and terror, really, in the industry.”

The acting mayor urged residents to stay home, wear a mask and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday responsibly.