Coronavirus: Face coverings now mandatory when indoors in public spaces in Strathcona County

A bylaw that temporarily requires people to wear a face covering when indoors in public spaces in Strathcona County took effect on Monday.

The bylaw was approved the Strathcona County council nearly two months ago. It first took effect on Monday because the requirement was meant to be triggered only if Alberta Health Services reports 25 or more active COVID-19 cases in the municipality.

The county joins other cities and municipalities in the province — like Edmonton and Calgary — who already have mandatory mask rules in place.

READ MORE: City of Calgary report shows 89% of residents following mask bylaw 

Previously, masks were already required to be worn in the municipality when on Strathcona County transit vehicles and in county-owned facilities.

As of Monday afternoon, the county said there are 27 active COVID-19 cases in the community.

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Anyone in the county must now wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles.

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“The county is taking this action, in step with its regional partners, to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and prevent a spike in infection rates,” the county said in a news release.

“A unified regional approach is required to ensure public health measures are implemented effectively. This is especially important for keeping our schools safe and supporting the local economy.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus face coverings under the nose equivalent to ‘not wearing a mask’: experts 

The county said that although people found not to be wearing a face covering where they are required to can face a $100 fine, it will be focused on educating people about why wearing a mask is important.

Some people are exempt from the bylaw:

  • children under 10 years old
  • people who are not able to place, use or remove a face covering without help
  • people with mental or physical concerns or limitations inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering
  • people who are eating or drinking in designated seating areas; or as part of a religious or spiritual ceremony
  • people who are exercising or engaging in athletic activities
  • caregivers, or those accompanying someone with a disability, when wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability
  • people who need to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive a service

Some public spaces are also exempt from the bylaw:

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  • schools and other educational facilities
  • hospitals and health-care facilities
  • child-care facilities

For more information, click here.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about face coverings in Alberta.

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