Mayor Berkowitz announces Phase 3 to start next week

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Starting Monday, the Municipality of Anchorage will start phase three of its roadmap to reopening the MOA.

“The success that we’ve seen so far is directly attributable to the hard work and the dedication of Alaskans to make sure we got to this point,” said Berkowitz.

Phase 3 is being called the maintenance phase. What this means is there will no longer be the capacity restrictions that were once in place. The MOA is instead focusing on encouraging businesses to have proper distancing for customers and keeping up excellent hygiene standards.

Berkowitz says the MOA is continuing to encourage people to wear masks both inside and outside of buildings.

Natasha Pineda, Director, Anchorage Health Department, also spoke during the briefing. Specifically, she shined a light on how some COVID-19 cases were transmitted recently in the MOA during the week of May 14 to the 20.

“Four of those people were people without symptoms who were screened for hospital admissions or procedures. Two of those people were in the hospital for non-COVID conditions. Four people were those without symptoms who were screened for work clearance, and two were people with symptoms who were screened for work clearance.”

But what if during phase three the MOA sees a spike or surge?

Berkowitz quickly answered the question by saying “What we would do in the event of a growth in the number of cases would be to try and narrowly identify where those cases were coming from and to pinpoint our restrictions on that kind of activity or kind of establishment.”

Other highlights from the mayor’s press conference include:

  • Starting June 1, 2020. The people mover will start running again but with restrictions on the number of people using the service. Bus capacity will be limited to 9 riders on 40-foot buses and 4 riders on 22-foot buses.

  • Library will be open for curbside delivery starting June 4, 2020

  • Friday is the last day to apply for the COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Grant

“As people enjoy this weekend, remember those sacrifices, remember the things that bind us together, and remember the things that keep us safe,” said Berkowitz. “Because if we are not safe, we are not free.”

You can watch the full briefing on our Facebook page or in the videos above.

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