The next phase of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s “Reopen Alaska Responsibly” plan began at 8 a.m. Friday, but as the day began business owners and local leaders were still figuring out what was allowed under the new regulations.
Guidelines for the second phase weren’t available to the public online until Thursday evening, leaving businesses trying to figure out how and when they could open.
“It said coming May 7, but then it still said, ‘Coming soon,’” said Logan Lott, owner of Tongass Fitness, in an interview. “I was just waiting.”
Lott said he tried to check the state guidelines to prepare for a Friday opening, but he wasn’t able to find them until late Thursday. He says he’s hoping for additional clarification from the state for some guidelines he found unclear, like for bathrooms.
“It says once an hour it needs to be cleaned,” Lott said. “What if all people in (a fitness) class go to the bathroom? What does it matter if it’s cleaned once an hour? It’s a little loosey-goosey.”
At a short press conference Friday evening, Dunleavy was asked if he plans to release the guidelines earlier for future phases.
Dunleavy said monitoring the state’s health care capacity numbers was most important, and if Alaska’s case count and other metrics remained favorable, then discussion of the next phases’ guidelines could begin.
“We’re going to work very quickly on what Phase 3 will look like,” Dunleavy said. “We can begin the discussion what it would look like so people could prepare. If our numbers hold we can begin that process.”
The administration is receiving public feedback regarding the guidelines, Dunleavy said, and changes to the guidelines can be expected.
But Lott still has questions about the current regulations.
“There’s just so many weird things about the 25% capacity,” he said. “And is it six feet, is it 10 feet? There’s not a lot of fine details.”
For now, Lott will only allow four customers in his gym at one time. He runs his gym out of two industrial-size garages out Thane Road and thinks that amount will give people a good amount of distancing room.
“Thankfully people are so understanding,” he said.
According to a schedule provided to the Empire by the governor’s office, the date of the next phase is yet to be determined, but will allow larger gatherings and businesses to operate at 75% capacity.
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will discuss reopening regulations at a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.