Anchorage to enter “Four Week Reset”

The "battening down" to thwart the spread of COVID-19 begins Aug. 3rd.
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 12:48 PM AKDT
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Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has ordered Anchorage to enter what he described as a “battening down” phase, an effort meant to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, cases of which have risen sharply in Anchorage during the month of July.

Starting Aug. 3rd, bars and restaurants will be limited to take-out service only. Dine-in service will not be allowed. Mayor Berkowitz also announced Anchorage School District schools will not take place in classrooms and will be online for the first quarter.

Also, beginning Friday, July 31st, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has ordered masks or face coverings to be worn in more settings than previously required, including outdoor gatherings.

The announcement comes after Anchorage experienced what municipal Health Director Natasha Pineda described as the worst week yet for COVID-19 cases in the city.

In the month of July, 1,576 cases were detected among Anchorage residents, Pineda said during a noon-time press conference. Of those, 494 are considered recovered, while 1,088 cases remained active, Pineda said.

“We currently have 21 people actively hospitalized,” added Municipal Manager Bill Falsey.

The announcement comes amid an ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases and concerns over the potential for Anchorage’s hospital systems to become overwhelmed. Anchorage is a medical hub for critical cases statewide, and it is not uncommon for other communities to send patients in need of more critical care to the state’s largest city.

“The trend lines are not looking good,” Falsey said, explaining that one model shows that ICU bed capacity could be overwhelmed by September 17th. “This is not a path that we want to stay on,” he said.

“We have flattened the curve and we can do it again,” Berkowitz said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Posted by Channel 2 News, on Friday, July 31, 2020