A man wears a cloth face covering in downtown Juneau on May 1, 2020. Democratic lawmakers have called on Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a mandate for wearing masks in public. Large spikes in cases counts Saturday and Monday show the need for action lawmakers wrote in a letter to the governor. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

A man wears a cloth face covering in downtown Juneau on May 1, 2020. Democratic lawmakers have called on Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a mandate for wearing masks in public. Large spikes in cases counts Saturday and Monday show the need for action lawmakers wrote in a letter to the governor. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

State lawmakers call for mask mandate

High case counts show need for masks, lawmakers say

State lawmakers are calling for a mandate requiring cloth face coverings in public, citing two large, single-day COVID-19 case increases as a sign action needs to be taken, according to a press release from the House Majority.

Seven representatives, all Democrats, singed a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy urging a mandate.

“Wearing face coverings in public is a simple and highly effective measure we should all practice to protect one another,” the letter said. “But the most effective way we can achieve this compliance will be through your leadership and guidance by issuing an additional health mandate.”

The governor held a rare Sunday press conference this week to announce a single-day increase of 27 cases, most of them in the Anchorage area. On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Social Services reported there had been another large single-day increase of 20 cases, also mostly in Anchorage. No new cases have been reported in Juneau since May 28, according to state data.

The governor’s Health Alert 10 issued April 3, recommends people were cloth face coverings in public, but states explicitly it is not a mandate.

The letter was signed by Reps. Andi Story, Juneau; Tiffany Zulkosky, Bethel; Jonathan Kriess-Tomkins, Sitka and Matt Claman, Harriet Drummond, Zack Fields and Geran Tarr from Anchorage.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 13

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, July 13, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, July 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, July 11, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Residents of Strasbaugh Apartments on Gastineau Avenue and others in the neighborhood wait outside a sealed-off area Sunday morning after a landslide triggered by heavy rain hit the building. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Landslide triggered by heavy rain damages apartment building on Gastineau Avenue

Officials close street as multiple mudslides reported; up to 4” more rain forecast by Monday night.

Shelley McNurney (right) and Tami Hesseltine examine a muticolor storage shelf in the gym of the former Floyd Dryden Middle School on Saturday, where surplus items from the school were being sold to residents and given away to nonprofit entities. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
No more pencils, no more bookshelves: Floyd Dryden works to clear out surplus items large and small

Furniture, microscopes, pianos among gymful of items being given away or sold by shut-down school.

Former President Donald Trump is surrounded by Secret Service agents at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa, on Saturday. Trump was rushed off stage at rally after sounds like shots; the former president was escorted into his motorcade at his rally in Butler, Pa., a rural town about an hour north of Pittsburgh. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Trump rally shooting investigated as assassination attempt; gunman identified

One rally attendee and the shooter dead, two other spectators critically injured.

Looking like a gray turtle, an automated mower cuts grass in front of Thunder Mountain Middle School with boxes stacked in a classroom window beyond. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Random adventures of robo-mowers…now performing again this summer at Juneau’s schools

Four pillow-sized bots resembling turtles with tiny razor-sharp blades provide class for the grass.

Disney Williams (right) orders coffee from Lorelai Bingham from the Flying Squirrel coffee stand at Juneau International Airport on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New coffee stand at airport stirs up heated dispute about having proper authorization to operate

Fans of Flying Squirrel Espresso praise location, hours; officials say FAA violations could be costly.

Most Read