Face coverings and masks

The City’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has been meeting to determine the details of the return to regular operations at City facilities, as well as other items such as the City’s Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw. The EMA will bring this to the June 28 Council meeting for discussion and a decision on this bylaw’s future by City Council.

Provincial restrictions supersede municipal bylaw

While Spruce Grove's municipal bylaw remains in effect, it is superseded by the mandatory provincial measures introduced on Nov. 24. This means that the rules from the Province must be adhered to first and foremost. For example, the Province states that masks must be worn by anyone older than two years of age, while our bylaw states 10 or older. Since the provincial restrictions take precedent, anyone over the age of two must wear a mask in Spruce Grove.

Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw

Implemented: 9 a.m. on October 23, 2020

Spruce Grove’s Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw is currently in effect. This means it is mandatory for members of the public who are not exempt to wear a face covering or mask at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle.

The bylaw was implemented at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, after the City was notified that Spruce Grove had been placed under a “watch” status as determined by the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. In addition to other factors, a watch may be implemented by the Province when there are at least 10 active cases and more than 50 active cases per 100,000 population. 

Information for businesses

Review information for businesses, including a downloadable poster.

City facilities and Spruce Grove Transit

Members of the public are required to wear a face covering or mask in publicly accessible indoor spaces in all City facilities. This is in effect regardless of whether the City’s Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw is active or inactive. At this time, this includes:

Face coverings or masks are also required when using Spruce Grove Transit.

Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw FAQs

Why did the City decide to implement a Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw?
This bylaw provides the City with a tool in our toolkit in the event we reach Provincial watch status. With businesses reopening, more social interactions, and the number of cases across the Edmonton region increasing, additional measures may be necessary to mitigate substantive increases of positive cases in the local community. Residents can sign up to receive notifications if the status in their region changes.

What is a face covering?
In the City’s Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw, a “face covering” means a mask or other face covering that covers the mouth, nose and chin ensuring a barrier that limits the transmission of infectious respiratory droplets.

What about a face shield?
Face shields are not proven to be effective at protecting others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets. The Government of Alberta recommends face shields in the health care industry in addition to a face mask, to protect the eyes as well as the mouth and nose. Outside of health care, face shields are not an effective form of protection and are not considered a face covering under the City of Spruce Grove’s Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw. This is consistent with the bylaws of other municipalities, such as Edmonton and Leduc.

Are there any exceptions?
The following exceptions – both people and places – are identified in the City’s Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw:

  • Children under the age of 10;
  • People unable to wear a face covering due to a mental or physical concern or limitation, or protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act;
  • People consuming food or drink in designated seating areas or as part of religious or spiritual ceremony;
  • People engaged in water activities or physical exercise;
  • People providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a face covering would hinder that caregiving or assistance;
  • People engaging in services that require the temporary removal of a face covering;
  • Schools and other educational facilities;
  • Hospitals and health-care facilities;
  • Child care facilities; and
  • Areas exclusively accessed or used by the Public Place’s employees or a Public Vehicle operator, provided that physical barriers or physical distancing practices are implemented between any person not required to wear a face covering by operation of this exception and any other person. 

Remember that some people may be unable to wear a mask for various reasons, which may not be obvious or visible to the general public. Please refrain from making assumptions in these situations and don't judge others for not wearing a mask.

How long will the bylaw be in effect?
The bylaw will remain active for a period of 30 days following the removal of the Provincial watch status.

How are you enforcing the bylaw?
Peace Officers may issue a violation ticket of not less than $100 to anyone who has contravened the bylaw; however, the emphasis will be on education and awareness and enforcement responses prioritized appropriately.

What should I do if someone won’t comply with the bylaw?
It's important to keep in mind that some people are exempt from wearing a face covering or mask. If you are concerned with non-compliance or have a question about the bylaw, please contact Enforcement Services at 780-962-7586. You can also complete this form or call 1-833-415-9179 to report any concerns or request service from AHS-Environmental Public Health.

What are the rules for leaders/speakers in places of worship?
If the area where a person is leading worship is separated from the general public, either by physical distance or physical barriers, that person is permitted to remove their face covering to speak. However, if these physical controls are not in place, face coverings are required. Cleaning/disinfection between speakers is recommended. Attendees are required to wear face coverings.

What are the rules in apartments and condos?
The general rule is, if the public does not have access to it, it will be exempt under the bylaw. If the shared dwelling building has a locked door and only tenants and guests can enter, then masks are not required in shared spaces.  However if the building is open and anyone can walk in, then these spaces would be considered public so masks would be required. In either case, condo boards and landlords may have their own rules and should be consulted for information specific to your residence.

Face covering information

Wearing a homemade or non-medical face covering or mask has been shown to be an important and effective tool in the prevention of COVID-19 and is encouraged by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada. It is strongly recommended to wear face coverings or masks in indoor public spaces, especially when it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing of two metres at all times.

Wearing a face covering or mask is about protecting those around you, as it can shield them from being exposed to your germs. It also helps to support our local businesses by keeping them and their employees safe.

Keep in mind that wearing a face covering or mask should complement – not replace – other prevention and public health measures, including physical distancing, cohorting, good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and increased cleaning of surfaces.

The Government of Alberta provides guidelines on how to properly use a mask, how to care for your cloth masks, and how to make or purchase your own mask.

You can also refer to this list of Do’s and Dont's from the Government of Canada.

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