The Alberta government is expected to announce on Saturday whether it will be lifting its province-wide mask mandate.
However, despite the provincial decision, the City of Edmonton has its own face-covering bylaw in effect for people two years and older in indoor public spaces and public vehicles. The bylaw does not apply to schools, however.
The city’s bylaw has two triggers that require council to review masking. First, when the province rescinds its mask order. Second, when Edmonton has 100 or fewer active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for 28 consecutive days.
Coun. Andrew Knack said city council may review its bylaw prior to the two triggers being met.
“Neither trigger has been met. The first could be coming up in the next week. The second one, we are not there yet,” Knack said.
“That said, council has the ability to revisit that earlier, and we may do so, based off a variety of factors.”
Provincial data as of Feb. 17 showed the City of Edmonton had an active case rate of 297.7 per 100,000.
Knack said those factors could be advice from Edmonton’s medical officer of health or new information from the province.
“Unless something changes from the city perspective, even if the province removes their public health order province-wide, the city face-coverings bylaw would still apply as of March 1 and beyond,” he explained.
Edmonton International Airport
The Edmonton International Airport falls under federal regulation and masks will still be required in some areas.
Until Transport Canada changes its regulations, masks will be required on airplanes, going through security and at other points.
COVID-19: More public health measures could soon be lifted in Alberta
Acute and continuing care
During a Feb. 9 news conference, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said even as the province’s approach to COVID-19 shifts, there will continue to be measures in place to protect those most vulnerable to the virus, particularly those in continuing and acute care.
“For example, masking will remain mandatory in acute care and continuing care as an important risk-reduction measure for the foreseeable future,” Hinshaw said.
Calgary city council voted earlier this month to lift its city mask mandate when the province does.
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