Carrie Morton, a barber in downtown Red Deer, says she doesn’t like wearing masks, but knows using them would help fight the COVID-19 threat. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Make face masks mandatory: United Nurses of Alberta to City of Red Deer

A Red Deer barber doesn’t like wearing masks, but she says they should be made mandatory in indoor public spaces, following the City of Calgary’s lead.

Carrie Morton, who works in downtown Red Deer, said putting on a mask on public transit would help curb the ongoing pandemic.

“Personally, now I am more comfortable wearing a mask, but I don’t like it,” she said, adding she wears a mask while at work.

“(Making masks mandatory) is a good idea,” she said, adding it is especially important now, when there are active cases in the city, and the central zone case numbers are spiking.

Calgary made mask wearing mandatory in indoor public spaces Tuesday. The bylaw, which comes into effect Aug. 1, was approved 12-3.

The City of Red Deer, meanwhile, has never discussed a mandatory bylaw publicly.

Premier Jason Kenney has encouraged Albertans to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but has declined to bring in provincewide legislation, noting incidents of the virus vary widely from community to community.

The United Nurses of Alberta has written letters to the province and six cities, including Red Deer, asking municipalities to make face coverings mandatory in public spaces, as well as in workplaces.

“Masking on public transit, in particular, is a necessary and effective measure to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help the Alberta economy return to normal as quickly as possible,” states the letter.

The United Nurses of Alberta’s second vice-president, Cameron Westhead, said it’s a tragedy when people get infected, become hospitalized and, in some cases, lose their lives.

Masking would be a way to honour the sacrifices that have been made, said Westhead.

The union is keeping track of trends in jurisdictions across the world, including those that have implemented mandatory masking.

“Masking is one of those interventions that has successfully helped augment those public health measures to help them either flatten the curve or keep the cases low.”

As fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases increase, many Canadians are reluctantly donning masks to stop the spread of the virus. That’s according to a recent Angus Reid poll that found only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly when they leave home. The other 45 per cent either wear masks rarely or not at all.

Every province except for Alberta and Saskatchewan registered over 70 per cent support for mandatory masking laws — the former at 60 per cent and the latter with just 55 per cent support for the measure.

A more recent poll Tuesday stated almost two-thirds of parents say they believe that children returning to school in the fall should wear masks at least part of the time.

– With files from The Canadian Press



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Canada’s Kennedy to yesterday’s man: former PM John Turner dead at 91

Politicians and other public figures immediately began sharing memories

Community art project will thank front line workers

Red Deerians are painting hearts to say thank you to frontline workers.… Continue reading

Vaping persists amongst Canadian youth

New survey into vaping habits of youth

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

The 2020 Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., will be held as a special hybrid event

New tools, ideas needed to speed up housing strategy funding, CMHC president says

Slow turnaround time on some of its national housing strategy programs

Letter containing ricin sent to White House may have come from Canada: RCMP

The letter contained ricin, a toxic substance found naturally in castor beans

Nunavut reports first confirmed COVID-19 cases, saying both are mine workers

The territory says at this time, there is no evidence of transmission within site

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

The pandemic has shown how heavily Canada relies on migrant and undocumented workers

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Former prime minister John Turner dead at 91

TORONTO — Former prime minister John Turner, whose odyssey from a “Liberal… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Happy to be left out of the picture

Talk about being out of the loop. Head in the sand. Uninformed,… Continue reading

Most Read