Assembly votes to immediately end Anchorage’s mask mandate

A sign instructs customers to take a single mask while shopping.
Surgical masks offered at a local business in Anchorage on Feb. 1, 2021. (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly voted 8-1 to immediately end the city’s mask mandate at a special session Friday afternoon. 

The move follows new guidance released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that states that vaccinated Americans don’t need to mask in most indoor settings if they are vaccinated. 

Assemblymember Meg Zaletel was the only no vote on the motion. 

Earlier in the day, Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson announced the mask mandate would end next week, but the assembly’s action supersedes that move. 

Private businesses or organizations – like the Anchorage School District – still may require masks, and a federal mask mandate requires masking on planes, trains and buses. The CDC still recommends Americans wear masks while in medical facilities and congregate settings like homeless shelters. 

Anchorage moved from a high alert status to an intermediate alert status based on per capita COVID case rates for the first time since July, 2020, according to a news release from the mayor’s office. 

About 53% of Anchorage residents 16 years or older are fully vaccinated, according to health department data.

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