Council approves Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw, subject to Provincial watch status

August 18, 2020

Spruce Grove City Council has approved a Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw, subject to Provincial watch status.

This bylaw, which was approved during an Aug. 17 Council meeting, may be implemented if or when the City reaches the active number of COVID-19 cases that would place it under a “watch” status as determined by the Province of Alberta. Based on the current formula, a watch would mean 18 active cases, along with other factors.

“As a community, we are doing a great job of keeping our cases low by following the guidelines and public health orders that are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Stuart Houston. “This bylaw provides us with a tool in our toolkit in the event we reach Provincial watch status, but it is more about education and awareness and ensuring we are diligent in preventing the spread. I’d like to encourage everyone to continue following these prevention measures, including wearing a mask in public places where keeping a distance of two metres is difficult. Let’s work together and continue our efforts to keep our community healthy!”

The bylaw does identify exceptions, which are:

  • Children under the age of 10;
  • People unable to wear a face covering due to a mental or physical concern or limitation, or protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act;
  • People consuming food or drink in designated seating areas or as part of religious or spiritual ceremony;
  • People engaged in water activities or physical exercise;
  • People providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a face covering would hinder that caregiving or assistance;
  • People engaging in services that require the temporary removal of a face covering;
  • Schools and other educational facilities;
  • Hospitals and health-care facilities;
  • Child care facilities; and
  • Areas exclusively accessed or used by the Public Place’s employees or a Public Vehicle operator, provided that physical barriers or physical distancing practices are implemented between any person not required to wear a face covering by operation of this exception and any other person.

Remember that some people may be unable to wear a mask for various reasons, which may not be obvious or visible to the general public. Please refrain from making assumptions in these situations and don't judge others for not wearing a mask.

Enforcement of the bylaw is designated to the City and the emphasis will be on education and awareness.

Residents can view the relaunch status of Spruce Grove and other communities in Alberta through an online map and sign up to receive notifications if the status in your region changes.