Masks

Face Coverings Bylaw

Last updated November 18, 2020

Face coverings are now mandatory in all indoor public places. This municipal bylaw (Bylaw 2076) is currently in effect, it will remain in effect until 14 days after there are 9 or fewer active cases of COVID-19 in the Municipal District of Peace regional zone, which includes the Town of Peace River, as reported by Alberta Health Services.

The current status of the region, including active case numbers, can be viewed on the Government of Alberta’s status map:
https://www.alberta.ca/maps/covid-19-status-map.htm

Certain exemptions apply and are listed below.

Please check this page often for updates on the implementation of the Face Coverings Bylaw 2076.

Face coverings are required in the following places:

Places where face coverings are requiredDefinitionExamples
Public Vehicles Any vehicle used to transport members of the public for a fee.Any vehicle used to transport members of the public for a fee. Taxis, shuttle services, buses.
Public PremiseAll or any part of building, structure or enclosed area where the public has access. Excludes places where enrollment or membership is required to access it.Grocery stores, retail businesses, restaurants, gyms, malls.
Town of Peace River-owned facilitiesFacilities owned by the Town of Peace RiverBaytex Energy Centre, Peace Regional Pool, Town Hall, Municipal Library, Peace River Museum, Archives, and Mackenzie Centre.

Exceptions

Exemptions to the face covering bylaw include:

  • Children under 5-years-old.
  • Those with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering.
  • Those who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering without assistance.
  • While eating or drinking.
  • While engaging in an athletic or fitness activity.
  • While caregiving or accompanying a person with a disability where a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability.
  • Those who need to temporarily remove a face covering in order to provide or receive a service.

Requirements for Businesses

Business operators or owners are required to display signage in public entryways of the business or vehicle. The Municipality has developed these mandated signs, and they can be downloaded here:

Businesses are not expected to deny services to visitors, as not everyone is required to wear a face covering.

You and your employees are not expected to enforce the Bylaw, or to have negative interactions with customers. If a customer becomes confrontational, call 911.

Proof is not required if someone claims an exception. Business owners may also sell or provide masks to customers if they choose.

Questions and Answers

What does the face covering bylaw require?

When Alberta Health Services reports 10 or more active cases in the region, the Bylaw requires a face covering be worn in all public premises and public vehicles. The bylaw will remain in effect until 14 days after the region drops to 9 or fewer cases. The face covering must cover your nose and mouth.

How will I know if this Bylaw is in effect?

If the Bylaw is in effect this webpage will be updated and information at the top will reflect the current status. A prominent link will also be placed on the website homepage at peaceriver.ca indicating whether the Bylaw is in effect or not. You can also phone (780) 624-2574 during regular business hours to find out.

This Bylaw comes into effect when there are 10 or more active cases reported by Alberta Health Services in the Municipal District of Peace region (which includes the Town of Peace River). The Bylaw will remain in effect until 14 days after the region drops to 9 or fewer cases.

Are any places exempt from the Bylaw?

Schools and other licensed childcare facilities are not impacted by the Town’s Face Coverings Bylaw. Government of Alberta regulation remains and requires Grade 4 to 12 students and all staff to wear masks where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained, including on school buses and shared areas such as hallways. Some school jurisdictions and boards may have additional mask use practices that go beyond provincial requirements.

Health care facilities are exempt from the Town’s Bylaw and follow their own requirements.

Employee-only spaces where physical barriers have been installed between the employee and patrons are exempt.

Condominium/apartment indoor shared spaces are not considered accessible to the public and are therefore exempt.

Please note these locations are subject to operators’ or owners’ own directive.

How does this Bylaw impact gyms, sports centres and fitness studios in the Town of Peace River?

When in effect, face coverings are required at all times while in gyms, sports centres and fitness studios unless actively participating in intense physical activity. This means individuals can temporarily remove the face covering to exercise but must wear the face covering when entering the facility, using the washrooms, or if spectating.

Please note that the Government of Alberta regulation still requires physical distancing to be maintained during group fitness activities (at all indoor and outdoor locations).

Where spotting is necessary for heavy weightlifting, participants should form small cohorts to limit direct contact with others. Spotters should consider wearing a face covering.

How does this Bylaw impact restaurants?

When in effect, face coverings are required at all times while in restaurants unless eating or drinking.

What does harassment mean under the Bylaw?

Harassment is conduct that a reasonable person would consider unwelcome or which results in the recipient feeling intimidated, irritated, belittled, or humiliated. Harassment, if severe, need not be repeated to be considered as harassment.

How do I report a violation of this Bylaw?

If you think a violation of the bylaw has occurred and wish to report it, please phone (780) 618-9259 or (780)-624-6611.

Where can I find more information about face coverings, types of face coverings and How to clean them and/or dispose of them?

The Government of Alberta has information regarding face coverings, types, care, and usage on their website: alberta.ca/masks

Kindness is Key

While the Town requires everyone who is able to do so to use a face covering to reduce the spread of COVID-19 we understand that some folks are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition. In those cases, physical distancing becomes very important as a primary layer of protection. Those unable to wear a mask may also consider a face shield as a means to protect against the spread of COVID-19 without the impacts of wearing a face mask.

Regardless of whether someone is or isn’t wearing a mask – kindness is key, we’re a community and we will get through this pandemic as a community.

Why Wear a Mask?

When used correctly masks can help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets that contain the COVID-19 virus.
Proper mask use can help us safeguard vulnerable people in our community, like those who are older and immune-compromised. As responsible community members protecting those who are-at-higher risk is the neighbourly thing to do.

How to Wear a Mask (Disposable or reusable)

  • Before putting on the mask, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  • Ensure your hair is away from your face.
  • A non-medical facemask can be safely worn by someone with facial hair.
  • Check the mask for damage; if damaged, discard.
  • Open mask fully to cover from nose to below the chin.
  • Place over nose and mouth and secure to your head with ties or ears with ear loops (depending on the style of mask).
  • If the mask has a nose bar, pinch around your nose to reduce gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Adjust if needed to make sure your nose and mouth are fully covered.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it; if you need to adjust your mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water before and after you touch it.
  • Keep your nose, mouth and chin covered at all times, until you are ready to remove the mask.

How to safely remove & dispose of a mask

  • Remove your mask if it becomes wet, torn, dirty or the ear loops/ties become damaged.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol before you remove the mask.
  • Do not touch the front of the mask. Remove using the ties or ear loops.
  • Dispose of your mask in a lined garbage bin and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol.