The City of Red Deer’s administration is not recommending council impose a mandatory mask wearing bylaw.
Red Deer already requires the wearing of masks on transit, and will hold a special council meeting Monday afternoon to consider further measures.
A report prepared for council members notes that neither chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, nor the Alberta government itself, have mandated the wearing of masks provincially, though both continue to stress the importance of voluntary compliance when in public settings where distancing cannot be readily and consistently achieved.
“In remaining consistent with following provincial direction on matters of public health, the city manager recommends city council stay the course with the current status of masking within this community, summarized as follows:
· Continue to mandate use of face coverings on city transit;
· Continue to strongly encourage the use of face coverings in facilities owned and operated by the city;
· Continue to strongly encourage members of the public to follow the direction of the government of Alberta in relation to the use of face coverings;
· Enhance communication to the public and staff regarding the direction of the government of Alberta as well as the appropriate and safe use of face coverings.”
City council is encouraged to ask the provincial government to apply COVID-19-related health restrictions at the regional level, if not provincewide, to ensure greater consistency between municipalities.
Red Deer County and Sylvan Lake, for instance, are not subject to recently imposed measures because their rate of COVID infection is less than 50 per 100,000 people. The City of Red Deer had 94 cases on Friday.
Council is also asked to request more timely COVID data from the province before the information is shared with the public, and to support a city communications plans.