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City council amends mask use bylaw, clarifies conditions to lift mandate

City of Grande Prairie council amended the mandatory mask use bylaw on Monday, clarifying the criteria for exactly when residents will no longer be required to mask up in enclosed public spaces.

Mayor Bill Given says the change now better reflects what council felt was passed when the bylaw was initially introduced.

“I think everybody on city council believed that we had set it up in such a way that it would happen once the total combined case count for the city and county has dipped below 100 cases for 14 consecutive days.”

“Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what we approved when we approved the bylaw. It was slightly different and it was when the municipality moved to ‘open’ status on the provincial watch list, so that was just a slight misinterpretation of what council’s intent was with what got written into the bylaw,” he says.

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Given adds the topic of introducing the mandatory mask use bylaw was hotly debated before its establishment. He adds at the time, council was more focused on what the triggers would be for the mandate to kick into place.

“The thing that we discussed but didn’t clarify our intent originally was when the requirement to mask would be removed while the bylaw was still in effect.”

Given adds council intends to begin a review of the overall bylaw, beginning at the end of January 31st, 2021.

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