Fully vaccinated employees in Anchorage workplaces that are separated from both the public and unvaccinated co-workers no longer need to wear masks, city officials announced Tuesday.
Anchorage’s masks mandate change comes as an increasing proportion of residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine. By Tuesday, 40.1% of people in Anchorage age 16 and older had been vaccinated with at least one dose.
The change represents a balance between the progress of the vaccine and the use of masks as a critical tool to reduce COVID-19, according to a statement emailed by Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson.
The city’s previous masking order required all employees to wear masks when around other people.
But now, employees who are fully vaccinated – that is, two weeks after a second injection of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine – don’t need to wear a mask if they are away. from both the public and unvaccinated employees.
“Employers are responsible for verifying the vaccination status of their employees in a manner consistent with laws against discrimination in the workplace,” the statement said.
The order changes went into effect Tuesday at noon. Masks are still required in closed public places and at outdoor public gatherings, authorities said.