The city is in close contact with health officials, and will assess the need for enhanced safety measures, such as changes to the face covering bylaw. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)

No requirement to wear masks as Red Deer placed on COVID watch list

Masks still not mandatory in Red Deer

There are no changes to COVID-19 protocols — including mandatory mask wearing — in response to an escalation in the number of Red Deer cases.

The city has been placed on an Alberta Health watch list due to the growing number of cases. Communities are placed on the list when they reach at least 10 active cases and more than 50 active cases per 100,000 people.

Red Deer had 60 active cases Tuesday and the city is reminding residents to stay vigilant in the effort against COVID-19. Updated numbers were not available Wednesday.

The province is monitoring the risk and discussing with local government and other community leaders the possible need for additional health measures.

“The city was in communication with provincial health officials … and there are currently no additional provincially mandated or requested additional restrictions in place because of the watch status at this time,” Mayor Tara Veer said in a statement.

“Council and the city’s emergency operations centre are closely monitoring the situation, and will be responding to public health guidelines as necessary to determine what additional local measures may need to be taken in the coming days and weeks to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Veer said.

“With Red Deer now placed under an Alberta Health watch, we are reminded that no community or region is immune to this virus, and we need to continue to be extremely diligent in ensuring we limit community spread.”

City manager Allan Seabrooke said the city will watch the number of cases.

“We have been, and will remain in close contact with Alberta Health officials, and will assess the need for additional safety measures in our community, which may include, but not be limited to, enhancements to our existing face covering bylaw, tightening restrictions at city facilities or any other gathering restrictions mandated by Alberta Health,” Seabrooke said.

“We, as a community, need to remain steadfast in our local resolve to stop the spread of COVID-19. I urge all Red Deerians to continue to follow the advice of Alberta Health, now more than ever.”

Said Veer: “We need to continue to take personal precautions to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by practising physical distancing, washing and sanitizing hands often, staying home when sick, wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and limiting the number of people we share close contact with.”

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