Edmonton makes masks mandatory indoors starting on Friday

EDMONTON — Starting Friday, Edmontonians will have to wear masks again in all public spaces, privately-owned businesses and municipal spaces as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Alberta.

Masks or face coverings will need to be worn in all public places starting on Sept. 3, including at restaurants, recreation centres, and while on public transit, ride shares, and taxis.

City council voted to reinstate a mask mandate bylaw for Edmonton Monday afternoon. The measure passed by 9-2, with Councillors Jon Dziadyk and Mike Nickel casting the only votes against.

This bylaw will go beyond current provincial public health measures, which do not mandate masks.

The measure will be in effect until Dec. 31, unless city council determines the bylaw should be renewed or rescinded sooner. Additionally, if active case counts in the Edmonton area fall below 100 per 100,000 people, the bylaw would be automatically struck.

Exemptions to the bylaw will be in place for people exercising in recreation centres or gyms and activities in pools.

As of Friday, the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 infections in Alberta is up to 853, about where it was in mid-May when the province had announced stronger public health orders to “put the health-care system first.”

There were 9,655 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, with the province adding over 1,000 new infections for three straight days.

There are at least 336 COVID-19 patients in hospital, representing the highest patient count since June 7. Included in that number are 74 patients in ICUs, the highest since June 11.

More to come…

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Matthew Black

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