Valdez Joins Anchorage, Cordova & Seward, Mandating Mask Use

Valdez Mandates Face Coverings   UPDATE TO THIS STORY: JULY 12TH, 2020 On a visit to Valdez on July 11th, the Country Journal saw tha...

Valdez Mandates Face Coverings


On a visit to Valdez on July 11th, the Country Journal saw that every store or building in Valdez seemed to have notices on the door, with the city's mask-wearing mandate listed. Most Valdez residents were wearing masks -- with some preferring a bandana. This included young and old, and especially most people working in, or entering, businesses. Special safety measures were in place at camper parks, where incoming campers in some used phones and email to sign in, or signed in from their cars through a cordoned-off area with lesser physical contact. Valdez does remain quite popular with campers.

The Valdez City Council has mandated face coverings. The city council made the decision on Tuesday, July 7th. It goes into effect on Friday, July 10th. 

Items that can be used are homemade masks, scarves, handkerchiefs or bandanas. They must be used in Valdez while indoors in a public space or places outside the house where people can't social distance.

As of July 8th, 2020, there are six people counted as having covid-19 in Valdez. Four of them are nonresidents. A large number of people have come to Valdez for fish processing reasons, which contributed to the surge.

Valdez has more medical care than the Copper Valley does. It actually has a Providence Hospital outlet. The Copper Valley has two "medical centers" and only one doctor -- who works on weekdays at CRNA's Robert Marshall Center in Tazlina.

(For more detailed information about the medical care in the valley, check the Medical Care section of this website, which discusses Crossroad, CRNA, and ambulance facilities.)

Valdez appears to have  a roughly similar population to the Copper Valley: over 3,000 people. Valdez's official count of around 3,800, (not including the fish processing group) is a more reliable accounting than any estimates of the Copper Valley's population. The Copper Valley is, at this point, almost uncountable because it has no government and it's in the unorganized borough.

Historically Valdez and the Copper River Valley have been linked together since the 1898 Gold Rush, when gold miners entered the valley by way of Valdez, climbing up over two massive glaciers to get to what was to become "Copper Center" on the Klutina River.

Valdez incorporated itself as a city in 1901, and has city rules. The Copper Valley never did.

Although Valdez now technically covers 216 square miles, its population dispersal is very different from the Copper Valley. Most people in the Copper Valley live in isolated homes, scattered over hundreds of miles of road, with few others nearby. Valdez is a small and interactive city, with paved sidewalks, stores, campgrounds, hotels and docks -- all within easy walking distance of one another.

Anchorage, Cordova and Seward also require face masks.


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