While masks or other face coverings are mandatory in some Alberta communities, such as Edmonton and Calgary, the City of Red Deer says it is still monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in the region. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

While masks or other face coverings are mandatory in some Alberta communities, such as Edmonton and Calgary, the City of Red Deer says it is still monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in the region. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the City of Red Deer continues to take a wait-and-see approach to such a policy.

The City of Lethbridge is the latest to implement new rules regarding masks. According to the city’s Facebook page, face coverings are mandatory in all indoor city facilities.

In Edmonton and Calgary, wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory in all indoor public places and public vehicles. Banff and Jasper also have mandatory mask rules.

In a statement made Friday afternoon, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said mandatory masks continue to be a “topic of conversation” amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“In accordance with my statement, on behalf of the city on July 24, the ongoing discussions of mask usage may be continually revisited at any time, given fluctuating case numbers in the city and region, along with new direction from the province’s chief medical officer of health,” said Veer.

“This week, the government of Alberta announced the guidelines around mandatory mask usage in schools and on school buses, as schools reopen this fall.

“As such, city administration is preparing a report for the Aug. 17 council meeting, which will include updates on provincial direction and local considerations. The administrative report will be available on the city’s website on or after Aug. 13.”

In July 24’s statement, Veer said the city continues to closely monitor the number of cases in Red Deer and the central zone. At the time of that statement, Veer said the city was not considering the implementation of mandatory mask use in Red Deer.

As of next Wednesday, masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations in Canada, including Red Deer.

Walmart has chosen to implement a mandatory mask policy to “bring more consistency across our store network” and to “ensure the well-being of our customers and associates,” Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, said in an email statement.

More than 60 per cent of Walmart’s 400 stores in Canada already have some form of a government mandate on face coverings, Fefer added.

–With files from Black Press News Services



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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