Neighborhood gathering places close amid coronavirus concerns

A sign outside Players Bingo on March 14, 2020.

Updated March 16, 4: 15 p.m.

As communities across the globe work to slow the spread of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the effects continue to ripple across the country, throughout Alaska, and into every corner of Anchorage — including Mountain View.

On March 11, with more than 118,000 confirmed cases worldwide and hundreds in the United States, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a public health disaster declaration in anticipation of an impending outbreak in Alaska. On March 12, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued an emergency declaration for the city. That same day, health officials publicly identified the state’s first case of the virus in a traveler passing through the city. On March 13, with the virus spreading nationwide, President Trump declared a national emergency.

[Read more guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, public health officials recommend social distancing measures like avoiding large gatherings and handshakes and limiting nonessential travel. On March 16, Berkowitz announced an emergency order prohibiting dine-in service for food or drink at bars, breweries and restaurants between 5 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. on March 31. The order also closes entertainment venues including bingo halls, theaters and gyms.

It impacts hundreds of establishments around Anchorage, and more than a dozen throughout Mountain View alone.

Schools, public facilities, and some businesses are now temporarily closed.

In Mountain View, that includes the Mountain View Neighborhood Library, the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club, and the neighborhood job center. The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature is also temporarily closed; so is Players Bingo. Two churches — True North and Mountain View Hope Covenant Church — temporarily cancelled corporate worship services after the schools in which they gathered shut down.

Despite the closures, the community is coming together in other ways.

Some neighbors offered help with child care assistance for families affected by the closures. The Anchorage School District says it plans to operate food distribution sites at various schools citywide, Mountain View Elementary included. The Mountain View Boys and Girls Club will distribute lunch and dinner meal kits Monday through Friday by the flag pole on Price Street, according to a sign on the front door. And Anchorage Remote Start and Sound, a 5th Avenue automotive business, says it plans to distribute snack packs and apple juice Tuesday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Categories: News

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