Courtesy of ADN:

More than 200 physicians and health care workers across Alaska have signed a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, urging him to mandate the wearing of masks in businesses where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

“We are concerned about the recent and rapid increase in COVID-19 case counts in Alaska,” says the letter, written by Anchorage doctors Megan Ritter and Sarah Murphy.

“Recent medical studies and real-world evidence supports the use of masks to prevent the spread of the virus,” the letter says.

The letter stipulates that mask wearing should be required in businesses open to the public “where 6-foot distancing is unrealistic.”

“The takeaway is this,” the letter says. “A sick person wearing a mask will spread fewer viral particles. A healthy person wearing a mask will have some protection from sick people around them. The combination of both people wearing masks provides the greatest amount of protection.”

The plea comes during a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, just weeks after restrictions on businesses were lifted in response to low case counts. On Wednesday, the state reported 20 new cases among Alaska residents, and virus clusters have been documented in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula. The state also confirmed its 11th death associated with the virus on Tuesday.

Despite the surge we are currently seeing all over the state there are still large numbers of Alaskans who are refusing to wear masks around other people. 

This is both disrespectful and ignorant, and I agree that masks should be mandatory and that those who refuse to wear them should be barred from entering businesses. 

I am actually okay with people not wearing masks while outdoors as long as they respect social distancing, but while inside of buildings they put all of us at risk.