Some businesses urge Anchorage to follow modified emergency orders

(Scott Gross)
Published: Nov. 7, 2020 at 8:46 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Following the announcement of changes to Anchorage Emergency Orders 13 and 14, businesses are processing the adjustments they’ll need to make, and a number of owners are urging Alaskans to follow them.

Chris Anderson, president of Glacier Brewhouse and Orso, appeared in Friday’s press conference and talked about the difficulties that the pandemic and health restrictions have brought.

“The mandates that are implemented for the restaurant business are extremely difficult,” he said. “They’re long, they’re tedious, they take a lot of administrative time, but we’re doing them.”

But he also encouraged others to follow them, arguing they can help to bring numbers down before next Summer.

“Let’s figure a way to live with COVID, restrict our activities, bring the numbers down so that we can reopen and have a business that can thrive when it comes to next summer,” he said.

Beyond restaurants and bars, gyms will also have to contend with more masks and possibly tighter capacity numbers, but for the owner of The Alaska Club, Robert Brewster, it’s better than shutting down entirely.

“I’d like to thank the mayor and the administration for being cognizant of the devastating effects of closures, and instead implementing incremental measures,” he said at Friday’s conference.

Brian Horchsel owns Body Renew, another Anchorage gym. How these changes impact his business will depend on how many people are willing to work out with a mask he said.

“We were already at 50% capacity, so the big change for us is wearing a mask and whether or not the public’s gonna be willing to do that and still participate in fitness activities,” he said.

As for the school district, an updated version of the order specifies it won’t put the same limits on schools as normal gatherings, but will still restrict classrooms to half the fire code capacity. In a statement Friday, the district’s communications director wrote in part “we are confident this new limitation will not impede our plans to bring Pre-K through Grade 2 students back into buildings on November 16.”

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