Alaska Courts Require Face Masks Regardless of Immunization Status


Nesbett Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, June 9, 2020 (Lex Treinen / Alaska Public Media)

Face coverings are now mandatory for every visitor to a state courthouse, regardless of their immunization status.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel Winfree issued the latest order last week, overturning a previous order relaxing the use of masks in state courts.

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Winfree writes that the masks are needed due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the prevalence of the most contagious delta variant statewide. Additionally, he references information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which shows that fully vaccinated people can spread the delta variant as quickly as unvaccinated people.

Some exceptions to the mask wearing rule include children under the age of 2 and people with mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask.

In addition to masks, courthouses may resume screening visitors for possible infection and may require them to log in.

RELATED: Providence Alaska says its staff must get COVID-19 vaccines or follow additional rules

Winfree’s order comes in addition to other health precautions ordered by the presiding judge in each region. For example, Juneau Superior Court Judge Amy Mead has stayed criminal jury trials and grand jury proceedings until at least the end of August in all of the major courthouses in Southeastern Australia. Alaska. This is due to the high number of cases and the high risk levels in communities in the region.

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