Mask mandate triggered as 39 new COVID-19 cases reported in City of Grande Prairie

COVID-19 case numbers in The City of Grande Prairie as of October 25th, 2020. (Alberta.ca)
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The City of Grande Prairie’s face-covering bylaw will be going into effect after the combined COVID-19 case count between the municipality and the County of Grande Prairie has reached more than 100. The threshold had been 100 active cases combined between the two communities or the province placing it under “enhanced” status.

Bylaw C-1426 mandates the use of face masks or coverings inside public buildings, with certain exceptions. Masks will be required to be worn in indoor public spaces when physical distancing via a screen, window, or other physical barrier is not possible. The mandate doesn’t apply in schools, hospitals, and health care facilities, parts of public facilities only accessed by staff, and for drivers of public vehicles properly distanced or protected by a shield.

Exceptions are also made for children under two, children under five who can’t be persuaded to wear a mask, people who can’t wear one due to a medical or physical concern or who can’t safely put one on without help, and people who are protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act. Masks are not be required when people are eating or drinking in a public place, working out, giving care to someone with a disability that could be hindered by their face being covered, getting a service that requires them to remove their mask, or in bed at a homeless shelter.

Businesses are now required to display a city-created sign where it’s visible to anyone coming in. The city says it will be educating before enforcing, but if a resident or business
remains uncompliant, the penalty for failure to wear a face covering/mask when required is $100 and $200 for failure to display prescribed signage.

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The bylaw will be in effect until January 31, 2021, unless otherwise reviewed by city council, or the consolidated case numbers drops below 100 active cases of COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days.

There are 39 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the City of Grande Prairie over the weekend, for a new total of 91 active cases, and 149 recoveries. The County of Grande Prairie also had four new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend, for a new total of 15 and 67 in that region.

Across the province, 1,440 new cases of COVID-19 were reported between October 23rd and October 25th. According to Alberta Health Services, 364 cases were reported on Friday, 572 on Saturday, and 502 on Sunday. The case numbers come from just under 46,000 tests.

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