Strathcona County council agrees to pass mask bylaw

image.jpg

Strathcona County's council agreed Wednesday to pass a bylaw on temporary mandatory face coverings starting Sept.10.

The bylaw will require masks or face coverings to be worn in all indoor public places, including recreation centres, places of worship, and theatre and spectator seating areas. Face coverings will also be mandatory on public transit and in taxis and rideshares.

The bylaw will not apply to children under two years of age and those with mental or physical limitations inhibiting their ability to wear a face mask.

Exemptions will also be in place for people exercising or eating in designated areas or as part of a religious ceremony.

"Our council and or community is in a difficult situation. In recent weeks, COVD-19 cases have grown,” said Mayor Frank.

During August, 396 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Strathcona County averaging 13 new cases and five recoveries daily, according to Alberta Health.

There are currently 284 active COVID-19 cases in Strathcona County according to the province’s latest data Wednesday.

A ‘DIVISIVE’ ISSUE

Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank called the issue around reintroducing the county’s mask mandate ‘divisive’ in Wednesday’s council meeting.

“There's also been a dearth of information from the authorities on the current situation this week. Many of our citizens are demanding action. At the same time, this is a divisive issue.”

“Our job today is to cut through this dissidence, to use all the tools and means we have been provided, to make a decision that's in the best interest of Strathcona County and its citizens,” said Mayor Frank.

The fine for not wearing a mask when required in Stratcona County is $100. The bylaw will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2021.