ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The acting mayor of Anchorage said there will be no new mandates related to the coronavirus this week, but left the door open for new orders if virus cases continue to rise.

“I am not planning to take any action this week, but we are monitoring the situation closely,” Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson said in a statement Wednesday. “We will not allow our hospitals to become overrun.”

The announcement comes as the city and state have experienced a substantial increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, told reporters on Thursday that it is has become difficult for hospitals to provide adequate care to everyone that needs it due to an increasing amount of coronavirus patients.

The state reported its highest number of current hospitalizations with 129 patients on Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.

The acting mayor’s statement also followed rumors among the restaurant and hospitality industries that there may be a new set of mandates in Alaska’s biggest city, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

“It’s really unfortunate that something that was a proposed idea was blasted everywhere,” said Sarah Oates, the president of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association. “It just created a lot of tension and frustration and terror, really, in the industry.”


The acting mayor urged residents to stay home, wear a mask and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday responsibly.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.