Face coverings (non-medical masks)
As part of Strathcona County's efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, non-medical masks (face coverings) are required for people entering all County-owned buildings and transit, effective August 4.
Alberta Health Services is advising that wearing face coverings (non-medical masks) in indoor public areas will help prevent the spread along with practicing good hygiene, maintaining physical distancing, getting tested and monitoring for symptoms.
At a special Council meeting on August 6, 2020, Strathcona County Council approved the Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw that mandates face coverings in indoor public places and public vehicles - when Alberta Health Services reports 25 or more active COVID-19 cases in the municipality.
Strathcona County invited the public to share their views on wearing face coverings in our community. View the survey results (360.9 KB) .
Related pages Permanent link to related-pages
Face mask frequently asked questions
1. Do I need to wear a face covering in all public areas?Permanent link to Do I need to wear a face covering in all public areas?
Alberta Health Services is advising all Albertans to wear non-medical masks in public places where keeping a distance of two metres is difficult. Wearing a face covering (non-medical mask) is one of the easiest and most effective ways we can help protect each other and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Until there are 25 positive COVID-19 cases in Strathcona County, face coverings are required to be worn in County-owned indoor facilities and Transit only.
Who needs to wear a face covering?
Effective August 4, everyone who enters a publicly accessible area of a County-owned building or enters a transit bus will be required to wear a non-medical mask (face covering).
Effective August 17, Strathcona County will require people wear face coverings in public spaces and vehicles for hire if Alberta Health Services reports 25 active COVID-19 cases in the municipality.
Exceptions to the bylaw include:
- Children under 10
- People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering without assistance
- 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 (e.g.?)
- People who are exercising or engaging in athletic activities
- Caregivers or those accompanying someone with a disability, wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability (for example, the ability to lip read)
- People who need to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive a service
This municipal bylaw does not apply to the following places:
- Schools and other educational facilities
- Hospitals and health-care facilities
- Child-care facilities
- Areas not accessed by the public
3. What if I forget to bring a face covering with me?Permanent link to What if I forget to bring a face covering with me?
Signage at the entrance to County-owned facilities will serve as a reminder to wear a non-medical mask (face covering) when indoors; a non-medical mask will be supplied if required (while supplies last).
As part of the Government of Alberta’s province-wide distribution plan, Masks for Albertans, non-medical masks are available to the public at the Bethel Transit Terminal.
A limited supply of non-medical masks will be available at recreation facilities in the event someone needs a mask in order to enter the facility.
If you are visiting a business, please consider the bylaw is in place to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to prevent a spike in infection rates.
Where can I get a non-medical mask?
As part of the Government of Alberta's province-wide distribution plan, Masks for Albertans, free non-medical masks are available to the public at the Bethel Transit Terminal.
A limited supply of masks will be available at recreation facilities in the event someone needs a mask in order to enter the facility.
5. Do I need to wear a face covering when I'm outside?Permanent link to Do I need to wear a face covering when I'm outside?
According to Alberta Health Services, masks (face coverings) should be worn when it's difficult to maintain two metres (six feet) distance from people, whether you are outdoors or indoors.
6. What can my business or community group do to support public health direction?Permanent link to What can my business or community group do to support public health direction?
We encourage our community leaders to work together to educate and encourage each other to wear face coverings, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to prevent a spike in infection rates.
If your business or group would like to educate our community, or if you require masks be worn on your premises, Strathcona County has developed resources for you.
7. How will I know if the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings bylaw is in effect?Permanent link to How will I know if the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings bylaw is in effect?
Strathcona County will inform our community if the bylaw goes into effect through channels similar to a water ban, fire ban or snow route parking ban or other emergent event. We will also be ensuring our local business and community groups are aware.
Although the bylaw is not yet in effect, Strathcona County recommends our residents follow Alberta’s public health guidance, and wear masks in public spaces where physical distance of two metres cannot be maintained, indoors or outdoors.
One way to keep informed is to sign up for SC Alerts. It allows you to receive emergent, significant and time sensitive emergency alerts affecting Strathcona County. This is a free service.