Over the past few weeks a number of residents have contacted City Council to express an opinion on the use of face-coverings or masks. We have heard these perspectives and continue to assess the situation.
COVID-19 and its impacts are being researched around the globe and health professionals, including Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hinshaw, encourage the use of face coverings and masks to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
The Provincial government has left it to municipalities to decide if the mandatory use of face coverings is necessary within their communities and a few cities have begun to act as their local context demands.
Grande Prairie City Council will consider the issue early in August, at which time we will explore all options while considering the state of COVID-19 cases in our region, risk to our community, provincial advice, and requests received from health professionals like the United Nurses of Alberta.
I want to be clear: Council has not yet made a decision on if masks should be mandatory in public areas.
While we have the tools to do so if it becomes required, my hope is that citizens will proactively take the right steps to help us contain the spread of the virus without the need for extra government regulations.
Our individual behaviour dictates the spread of COVID-19. It is very easy to believe the greatest risks are behind us, but we’ve learned from other communities how quickly the virus can spread when we each fail to act.
City Council asks all residents to voluntarily take steps to keep each other safe:
- Wash hands frequently
- Limit your in-person contacts
- Maintain 2-meters of physical distance where possible in public
- Voluntarily wear a face-covering in public areas where physical distancing is not feasible, such as in grocery or retail stores.
- Follow all public health regulations
You have the ability to keep your friends and loved ones safe, simply by making the right decisions. Together, we have the ability to do this.
Mayor Bill Given