Mask wearing mandates

by Greg Lincoln

Homemade facemasks. Photo by Kelly Lincoln

Hello friends. The communities of Cordova, Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, Dillingham, Kotzebue, Gustavus, Tununak, Tuluksak, and Emmonak and our capital city of Juneau (and possibly others) all have mask-wearing requirements for indoors in public places to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 has continued to spread with rising numbers of cases here in our state. Now our Bethel City Council will be taking into consideration a resolution that would establish a mask-wearing policy here in Bethel.

The policy, if passed, would require that face masks or similar face coverings be worn in public in indoor and indoor-adjacent spaces, and under certain conditions – in outdoor spaces, during this COVID-19 public health emergency.

The City of Bethel has issued a COVID-19 public health emergency declaration via city ordinance.

“A growing body of scientific research shows that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease, and that the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will dramatically reduce the spread of COVID-19,” says the proposed resolution. “Because of the community’s quick and voluntary actions to wear face coverings in public, limit social interactions, stay at home when sick, and wash hands frequently, Bethel has been fortunate to avoid large numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city and region at this time.”

I support this resolution, it is the responsible thing to do.

I remember the day I was getting ready to walk into a public building when someone inside asked me to please wear a mask before entering. This was a few months ago.

But what if we don’t have a mask? If you can reach out to someone, they can help you get a one. Be responsible, be vigilant, and please wear a mask in public.