On Monday, July 28, City Council decided:
- Face coverings will be mandatory on Lethbridge Transit starting Aug 4.
- Face coverings will be mandatory in City of Lethbridge facilities Aug 7.
- Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw as an additional step to help protect our community starting Aug. 24
|What decisions has City Council made to make face coverings mandatory in Lethbridge?|
- Lethbridge Transit – August 4
- City Facilities – August 7
- City-wide – August 24
|When will this go into effect?|
The wearing of face coverings is an additional way in which we can protect the health and wellbeing of our community. By keeping our COVID-19 cases low, we can keep our businesses open and our economy moving forward. As kids return to school and the cold weather heads our way, we'll see more people together indoors. Wearing a face covering will help us limit any transmission of COVID 19. It's important that we remain vigilant to protect against a second wave.
- City Hall
- Galt Museum
- Fort Whoop Up
- Helen Schuler Nature Centre
- Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal
- Lethbridge Airport Terminal
- Lethbridge Public Library (Downtown and Crossings branches)
- Ice arenas
In addition, the City is working with the facility operators in other City owned buildings to align with this direction. This includes locations such as swimming pools, Casa, Lethbridge Animal Shelter, Multicultural Centre and the Cor Van Raay YMCA.
|What facilities are including in “City Facilities”?|
Anyone engaged in aquatic activities or physical exercise is exempt from wearing a face covering during the activity.
Face coverings are required to be worn in all public areas of the pool facility.
|Do I need to wear a face covering in the pool?|
The motions passed by council are specific to indoor spaces however, as per the Alberta Government’s recommendations, masks should be worn at any time that social distancing cannot be maintained.
|Does this include outdoor spaces?|
The City of Lethbridge has a limited supply of disposable masks that will be available on buses and at City facilities if required but residents are asked to bring their own personal face covering with them if at all possible.
|Will the City provide masks?|
Some mask exemptions will be allowed, including:
- Children under 2
- People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering and those who cannot wear or remove one without assistance
- People eating or drinking inside public spaces that offer food or beverages
- People who are exercising or engaging in athletic activities
- Caregivers or those accompanying someone with a disability
- People who need to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive a service
|What mask exemptions will be made?|
Our primary focus with the Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw is to educate residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces and public vehicles, rather than enforcement.
There may be reasons why someone might be exempt from wearing a mask and that is OK. In times of crisis, we have to be understanding and non-judgmental. It's about taking responsibility for your own actions and wearing a mask unless you are unable to do so. By doing the right thing, you will help businesses stay open and help prevent a potential resurgence of COVID-19.
We also understand this issue has created differing opinions in our community and encourage our citizens to be respectful of one another's viewpoints.
Transit Drivers will ask all riders to wear a mask and provide masks if they have not brought one with them.
For the safety of the drivers and riders, anyone refusing to wear a mask will be addressed by a Transit supervisor at a subsequent stop.
|How will this be enforced? |
City-wide mandatory masking would introduce a temporary bylaw to expand required masking from the current Lethbridge Transit and City of Lethbridge facilities to also include public indoor spaces like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses and churches.
|What does city-wide mandatory masking mean?|
The World Health Organization (WHO), Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta continue to strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19 where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
This video from Alberta Health Services explains how masks help limit the spread:
|How does a mask protect us against COVID-19?|
Yes. All City staff must wear a face covering if they are working in public spaces without protective barriers
and/or in areas where social distancing can’t be maintained.
|Will City staff be wearing masks? |