Due to the provincial mandatory masking announcement on September 3, Strathcona County is reviewing our bylaw for regional alignment and direction. Please follow all Provincial restrictions.

September 1, 2021

Due to the provincial mandatory masking announcement on September 3, Strathcona County is reviewing our bylaw for regional alignment and direction. Please follow all Provincial restrictions.

At a special Council meeting on September 1, 2021, Strathcona County Council approved the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 53-2021 that requires the public to wear masks in all indoor public places and public vehicles including taxis, buses and rideshares. Due to the provincial mandatory masking announcement on September 3, Strathcona County is reviewing our bylaw for regional alignment and direction. Please follow all Provincial restrictions.

"The County is taking extra steps due to the rising cases in the County and Alberta to help slow the spread of COVID-19, support our economy and protect local and regional resident and community health,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “Residents can help protect themselves and each other by getting fully vaccinated, washing their hands, maintaining six feet of distance and staying home when they're sick.

"This will be an upsetting decision for some. Treating each other with kindness and respect, even when we don't agree, continues to be important as we adapt to ongoing changes."

The bylaw will automatically expire on December 31, 2021,  unless repealed earlier by Council.

What does the bylaw mean?

The bylaw makes masks mandatory in the following places:

  • Public vehicles for hire (taxis, rideshares, vehicles for hire)
  • Public indoor spaces and events (malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, places of worship)
  • County facilities (recreation centres, County buildings)

Failure to wear a face covering when required can result in a fine of $100.

What are the exceptions?

The bylaw does not apply to the following:

  • Children under two years of age
  • 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
  • People who are exercising or engaging in athletic and water activities
  • People participating in a dance, theatre or musical performance as long as participants do not enter public viewing areas
  • Caregivers or those accompanying someone with a disability, when wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability (e.g. the ability to lip read)
  • People who need to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive a service 
  • People who are providing or receiving consultation services in closed offices or meeting rooms, if all parties can remain at least six feet apart (e.g. in-person group counselling)

The municipal bylaw does not apply to the following places:

  • Schools and other educational facilities
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities
  • Childcare facilities
  • Areas not accessed by the public
  • Private residences unless open to the public (e.g. at-home businesses)

Posters for businesses and community groups to use will be available soon.

Ongoing health and safety measures

Masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when combined with COVID-19 vaccinations, physical distancing, hand washing and staying home when you’re sick.

In addition to masking, Strathcona County continues to use additional preventative measures to protect resident and staff safety, including daily staff screening, enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizing stations and plexiglass barriers at customer service areas.

Be kind

The health and safety of the community, including County staff, remains the top priority as the COVID-19 situation continues to change. 

The pandemic impacts everyone in different ways, and the ongoing changes can be difficult to manage. Please use kindness, patience and respect with staff and each other. If you need someone to talk to about stress, finances, relationships, parenting and more, phone Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044.

Information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the County’s response, as well as any updated information, is available at strathcona.ca/covid19.
 

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595