Anchorage 'Hunker Down' order now in effect

Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 6:16 PM AKDT
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Emergency Order EO-03, which direct Anchorage residents and businesses to hunker down, went into effect at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued the order Friday to in an effort to prevent Anchorage hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and unable to treat those who might need urgent medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are going to do everything we can in this municipality so we can flatten the curve to make sure that people here don't get infected, or if they are infected, then it happens over prolonged periods of time," Berkowitz said on Friday. "We've seen what happens in other jurisdictions in places like Seattle or in Italy where hospital facilities have rapidly become overwhelmed."

The hunker-down order mandates that non-critical businesses close their premises and that residents stay home as much as possible.

Non-critical businesses are any businesses that are not specifically named as a critical business. This includes, but isn't limited to: shoe stores, hair salons and barber shops, nail salons, clothing stores, makeup stores, jewelry stores, car dealerships (service and parts may remain open), tattoo parlors, acupuncture, art studios, and sporting goods stores, in-home housekeeping services, babysitting (except to provide support for critical workers). This is in addition to the earlier closures of gyms, movie theaters, indoor recreation centers, bowling alleys, and nightclubs.

Critical businesses include health care operations, grocery stores, convenience stores, maintenance and operations of critical infrastructure, first responders, criminal justice personnel, critical government functions, defense and national security-related operations, food cultivation, social services, journalism, gas stations, banks and other financial institutions, hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, mailing and shipping services, laundromats, educational institutions for the purpose of distance learning, restaurants (for takeout and delivery only), transportation services, hotels, childcare facilities (to serve workers in critical jobs only), and some legal and accounting services. All of these businesses must implement social distancing techniques to the maximum extent possible.

Residents must stay home as much as possible. They can leave to work in critical jobs, to get food and important goods, for health care and to recreate outside. The mayor's office says they should maintain appropriate social distancing — six feet — from anyone outside of their household.

The mandate lasts until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 unless otherwise extended.

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