Should you be wearing a mask indoors in your region of Alaska? Here’s what the CDC says.

A hand-drawn sign at a downtown that says 'masks required'
A hand-drawn sign about mask requirements at a downtown Anchorage bar on March 24, 2021 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

As the highly contagious delta variant spreads, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending even fully vaccinated people mask up indoors if they’re in a place with “substantial” or “high” virus transmission. 

(As for unvaccinated people? The federal agency’s advice remains unchanged: Always wear a face mask indoors in public places.) 

If you’re fully vaccinated in Alaska, what does the new CDC advice mean for you? Should you be masking up in public indoor settings again under the agency’s guidance? 

The answer is most likely yes, as the delta variant takes off in much of Alaska amid stalling vaccination rates.  

RELATED: Leaders of Alaska’s largest hospitals issue stark warning as COVID-19 surge continues

You can check your community’s transmission rate on the CDC’s map.


The map is updated regularly, and based on the number of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, plus the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive over the past seven days.

As of Wednesday, areas in Alaska where the CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear a face in public, indoor settings include …

Areas with high transmission:

  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough
  • City and Borough of Juneau 
  • Bethel Census Area
  • Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West
  • Bethel Census Area
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough
  • Kodiak Island Borough
  • Kusilvak Census Area
  • Lake and Peninsula Borough
  • Nome Census Area
  • City and Borough of Sitka
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

Areas with substantial transmission:

  • Dillingham
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough
  • North Slope Borough
  • Wrangell City and Borough

(Also note: The CDC says it has no data for the Valdez-Cordova area. But, according to the state health department, it is under “high alert” along with nearly all of the state.)

[Sign up for Alaska Public Media’s daily newsletter to get our top stories delivered to your inbox.]

Also on Tuesday, the CDC called for universal masking in schools for teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination.

Tegan Hanlon is the digital managing editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at or 907-550-8447. Read more about Tegan here.

Previous articleKotzebue couple charged with assaulting and starving children in their care
Next articleThe next generation of Alaska Native shareholders