Edson Mandatory Facial Covering Bylaw Passed but NOT Enacted
Edson, Alberta, August 18th, 2020 – Edson Town Council has given three readings to Bylaw 2250, the Mandatory Facial Covering Bylaw. However, the bylaw only comes into effect if certain thresholds are met. Those benchmarks include:
- More than 10 active cases within the Edson Region
- A persistent spread of active cases within the community
- An outbreak within local schools, which may or may not result in a closure of the school(s)
- A persistent and active Infection rate profile of neighboring communities (e.g. Hinton, Whitecourt, Evansburg, etc.)
If those triggers are reached, it would move Edson into the Medium Risk category of the bylaw and facial coverings would become mandatory. Other measures would also be reviewed at that time.
There are a number of exemptions listed in the bylaw, including:
- persons under 2 years of age;
- persons who are unable to place, use, or remove Face Coverings without assistance;
- persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a Face Covering would hinder that caregiving or assistance;
- persons consuming food or drink in designated seating areas or as part of a religious or spiritual ceremony;
- persons engaging in aquatic activities or physical exercise; or
- persons engaging in services that require the temporary removal of a Face Covering.
Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara says Council is taking a proactive approach to mandatory masking by having the bylaw in place and ready to go. “This is a move to ensure we’re ready in the event of a substantial outbreak in the Edson area. If we are physically distancing, sanitizing our hands, and staying home if sick, the chances of spread are significantly reduced. Let’s continue those efforts so we don’t hit the thresholds outlined in the bylaw.”
The bylaw carries a potential fine of $100 for a first offence and $200 for subsequent offences. However, the main goal will be education at the start of any program. The full bylaw can be reviewed at www.edson.ca/bylaws.
Currently, the Town of Edson is following the Province in strongly recommending the use of face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained.
More information on the proper use of masks, visit https://www.alberta.ca/masks.aspx.