Face coverings only become mandatory in indoor public spaces once 15 active COVID-19 cases are reached locally.
Wetaskiwin City Council passed a temporary COVID-19 face coverings bylaw (1973-20) at their regular September 28, 2020 Council meeting. The bylaw does not come into effect until a threshold of 15 active COVID-19 cases in Wetaskiwin is reached, as reported by Alberta Health Services.
Bylaw 1973-20 states that a face covering must be worn at all times in a public premises or a public vehicle, unless the person is separated from other persons by an installed screen, shield, or other barrier.
“We are following the Province’s lead on this by continuing to highly recommend the use of masks in public spaces--especially where physical distancing cannot be maintained,” said Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “We cannot, however, ignore the risk to the community-at-large if we see the number of active COVID-19 cases in Wetaskiwin reach 15 people or more.”
The fines specified within the bylaw include a $50 penalty for failing to wear a face covering where required, and a $200 penalty for employers, operators, or proprietors who fail to display signage stating that masks are mandatory on the premises.
The World Health Organization (WHO), Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta continue to strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19 where physical distancing cannot be maintained. A face covering includes a medical or non-medical mask or other face covering that fully covers the nose, mouth and chin. For more information on face coverings visit alberta.ca/masks.
"This bylaw is an appropriate measure taken for the potential of increased COVID-19 cases in our area,” said Robert Osmond, Director of Emergency Management with the City of Wetaskiwin. “Masks, combined with physical distancing, reduces the spread of COVID-19. The public should wear a mask when physical distancing measures cannot be maintained.”
A final version of Bylaw 1973-20 will be posted on the City of Wetaskiwin website soon.
Continue to refer to this website for information and updates related to the City’s evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The face coverings bylaw does state several exemptions to the mandatory use of face coverings, including:
- children under the age of 2
- persons who are unable to place, use, or remove a face covering safely without assistance
- persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering
- persons who are seated at a table or bar at a public premises that offers food or beverage services
- persons engaging in an athletic or fitness activity
- persons who are caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability
- persons who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service
- If the threshold of 15 active cases of COVID-19 is reached, the bylaw will come into and remain in effect until 30 days after the reported number of local COVID-19 cases falls below the threshold