Anchorage Assembly extends testimony on mask ordinance to fifth day

People in an assembly chamber cheering
The Anchorage Assembly on Oct. 4, 2021. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Public hearing on a proposed mask requirement in Anchorage will continue on Tuesday, after another long night of testimony Monday. 

Most of the people at Monday’s meeting opposed a mask mandate. Many testified that the mandate is unconstitutional, that it violated individual liberties or claimed that it would be a slippery slope to fascism. 

People in favor of requiring masks pointed to Anchorage’s overwhelmed hospitals and to overwhelming scientific evidence that shows wearing masks helps slow the spread of COVID-19. 

RELATED: Discord over masks escalates with arrests, Holocaust comparisons at the Anchorage Assembly

Several amendments were introduced to the ordinance, which was first introduced by Midtown Assembly member Meg Zaletel and Pete Peterson of East Anchorage. If passed, one amendment would get rid of the mask requirement in gyms. Another, also introduced by Zaletel, would get rid of a provision that allows individuals to enforce and report violations of the mask requirement

A person in a yellow hazmat suit and facemask sits at a tale with a white man in a white tshirt
Attendees of the Oct. 4, 2021 Anchorage Assembly meeting take a break in the library cafe. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)
A person holds a sign saying I will not consent
Anchorage Assembly meeting on Oct. 4, 2021. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)
A girl stands on the podium in front of a microphone
An 11-year-old testifies at the Anchorage Assembly on Oct. 4, 2021. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)
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