City of Red Deer not considering making masks mandatory

The City of Red Deer will not require citizens to wear masks, the mayor said in a statement Friday.

Earlier this week, Calgary passed a controversial policy to make masks mandatory as of Aug. 1, and Edmonton is moving toward requiring people to wear coverings on public transit.

Those discussions prompted a response from Mayor Tara Veer.

“Implementing a mandatory masking policy in public spaces needs to be considered with other health orders and in context with the overall local severity of the pandemic,” said Veer.

“The caseload in the region is absolutely critical to the city’s consideration of implementing a mandatory mask policy.”

As of Friday, the City of Red Deer has 11 active COVID-19 cases, with 40 recovered. The central zone continues to see a rising caseload, with 161 active cases in the region, including 33 hospitalizations and seven people in the ICU.

Veer noted the city’s decision may be revisited if the province changes its direction on mask wearing.

She explained that at the moment, the increase in virus cases across the city is concerning, but can be managed.

“The city continues to follow the number of cases in Red Deer and the central zone health region very closely,” she said.

“The recent uptick in cases in the region is concerning and serves as a reminder of the importance of following all public health orders to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.”

In Thursday’s provincial update, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the province still isn’t considering a mandatory mask policy for several reasons.

“Before we would implement provincewide measures, I think we would need to consider whether that same measure is required across the province.

“I think a concern that has been expressed to me, and that I share, is that we could inadvertently, if we were focusing too much on the question of masking, we could distract from all of the other measures that are critically important,” she said.

“There is some evidence to suggest, for example, consistent physical distancing, when that is achieved, is more effective than masking.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read