Masks will again be required in all indoor, public spaces in Edmonton starting Friday in an effort to curb the spread of a rising COVID-19 fourth wave.
City council voted 8-3 Monday to reinstate the bylaw as of Sept. 3, which was deactivated July 1 in line with the province’s reopening plan. Face coverings will be required in all indoor facilities accessible by the public including retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants and recreation facilities and will continue to be mandated on the transit system and in vehicle-for-hire services.
The mandate will remain in effect until Edmonton’s COVID-19 active case rate drops to under 100 per 100,000 people for 10 consecutive days. The city’s current case rate is 205.5 per 100,000 people, after sitting at 58.8 two weeks ago.
Mayor Don Iveson said masking has proven to be an effective measure in limiting the spread of the virus and reinstating the mandate is the right intervention to take at this time to help ensure businesses don’t have to close again.
Exemptions under the bylaw remain including for those under two, when eating or drinking in a designated area, when engaging in physical activity and for those unable to put on or take off a mask without requiring assistance. The mandate will not apply to schools, hospitals and child-care facilities which are under the jurisdiction of the province.
A fine of $100 could be issued by police or peace officers for violation of the bylaw. Currently, there are 2,133 active cases of COVID-19 in Edmonton.
More to come.