Anchorage to ease COVID-19 restrictions starting New Year’s Day

Anchorage’s acting mayor announced beginning Friday, Jan. 1, bars and restaurants in the city can reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity. (Photo by Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson will ease the city’s COVID-19 restrictions starting New Year’s Day.

Quinn-Davidson on Tuesday announced the updated rules that will follow the city’s month-long hunker down.

Beginning Friday, she says, bars and restaurants can reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity. Alcohol service must stop at 11 p.m.

Acting Mayor to announce new Emergency Order

Today, the Acting Mayor is announcing a new Emergency Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Acting Mayor is joined by Anchorage Health Department (AHD) Director Heather Harris; AHD Epidemiologist Dr. Janet Johnston; UAA Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Hennessy; UAA Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Kevin BerryAlso available: Municipal Attorney Kate Vogel; Office of Economic and Community Development Director Chris Schutte, Director; AHD Medical Officer Dr. Bruce ChandlerThe community briefing is available on Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson’s Facebook page and Municipal Channel 9 on GCI cable. American Sign Language (ASL) access is available at www.muni.org/ASLBriefing.

Posted by Anchorage Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Gyms, salons and personal care businesses can operate at 50% capacity — up from the 25% allowed in December. Entertainment facilities, like movie theaters, can reopen at 25% capacity. Also, all other retail and public-facing businesses, previously at 25% capacity, will be limited to half of their capacity.

A few orders will not be lifted after the shutdown.

Indoor sports competitions will still be banned and gathering limitations remain at six people when indoors and 10 people outside.

Officials report that the COVID-19 case rate in Anchorage dropped by more than half during the December shutdown.

“We came perilously close to overwhelming our health care system before the holidays, but thanks to the personal sacrifices Anchorage residents made, we’re ready to transition to EO-17, which gently loosens limitations, while remaining focused on public health measures,” Quinn-Davidson said in a statement.

The new order takes effect on Friday, Jan. 1, at 8 a.m.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

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