Municipality of Anchorage releases plan for relaxation of mandates

At a community briefing held late afternoon Monday, April 20, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz gave the first indication Anchorage is on the verge of reopening some businesses. Citing a plan called “Safe Anchorage: A Roadmap To Reopening the Municipality of Anchorage,” Berkowitz and members of his administration waded into the when, where and how city goods and services will be managed in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan calls for four phases: Easing; Recovery; Maintenance; and New Normal. Each is bolstered by a listing of acceptable activities, protective measures to be taken by the municipality and its residents, and data metrics that determine movement up or down to further or previous phases, known as the “Anchorage Opens Risk Assessment.”

Mayor Berkowitz did not provide a date for the implementation for the first phase, Easing, however, stating he would “follow the State of Alaska’s plan for reopening businesses and services.” At a press conference immediately following the Municipality of Anchorage briefing, governor Mike Dunleavy gave indications that “within a week” some businesses, like salons and some restaurants, would begin to open under tight restrictions.

The municipality’s first phase would require that residents and businesses “carefully ease, carefully monitor” their activities based upon the risk assessment, including a partial re-opening of low-risk, non-critical businesses if they can meet strict physical distancing guidelines, frequent cleaning practices, and other preventative measures. Also under this phase, some non-urgent medical procedures could proceed, and low-risk outdoor recreation activities are allowed. Face coverings would be strongly encouraged, public facilities would remain closed, but people would be able to move about Anchorage for work or shopping if required.

As of April 20, the Municipality of Anchorage had 155 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 63 individuals recovered. The State of Alaska reports 321 confirmed cases, with 161 recovered. There have been nine deaths statewide.

Read the entire Safe Anchorage document at