Due to increasing COVID-19 caseloads, the Government of Alberta has implemented stronger public health measures for the province.
All indoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited. This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers and co-parenting arrangements. Close contacts are limited to household members only. Individuals who live alone may have the same two non-household close contacts for the duration of this restriction.
Mandatory Mask Requirements
Effectively immediately, the Government of Alberta has implemented a requirement for masks in all indoor public places and workplaces across the province. While Whitecourt’s Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw 1560 remains in effect, the Provincial restrictions supersede some requirements of the bylaw. Masks are mandatory in all:
- Indoor public places;
- Places of worship;
- Public Vehicles;
- Indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home except:
- when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle,
- rental accommodations used solely for the purposes of a private residence,
- farm operations.
The following exemptions apply throughout Alberta to a person attending an indoor public place if the person:
- is a child under two years of age;
- is unable to place, use or remove a face mask without assistance;
- is unable to wear a face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation;
- is consuming food or drink;
- is engaging in physical exercise;
- is providing or receiving care or assistance where a face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance;
- is alone at a workstation and separated by at least 2 metres distance from all other persons;
- is the subject of a workplace hazard assessment in which it is determined that the person’s safety will be at risk if the person wears a mask while working;
- is separated from every other person by a physical barrier that prevents droplet transmission; or
- is a person who needs to temporarily remove their face mask while in the public place for the purposes of:
- receiving a service that requires the temporary removal of their face mask;
- an emergency or medical purpose; or
- establishing their identity.
Mandatory Business and Service Restrictions
Some businesses can remain open with capacity limited to 15% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code. To calculate occupancy limits please refer to the Province’s Reduced Capacity and Occupant Loads guidance document.
Stronger Public Health Measures - In place until further notice
A number of retail restrictions and mandatory closures came into effect Sunday, December 13. For sector specific details on these stronger public health measures visit the Province’s website.
Financial support programs are available to help people, families and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19. For more information, refer to Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan.
As announced by the Province, the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant is available for businesses, co-ops, and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their costs.
Outdoor recreation areas remain open for public use
Residents are encouraged to stay active, and are reminded that outdoor recreation spaces, including parks, public spaces, playgrounds, trails, and Toboggan Hill, remain open. Use at all mentioned facilities is permitted by members of the same household if physical distancing is maintained from other people at all times. As of January 18, 2021, social gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted, provided individuals practice physical distancing.
Help prevent the spread
Community members are asked to continue to be vigilant in following preventative health practices, including physical distancing, cohorting, good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and increased cleaning of surfaces. For tips on how you can protect yourself and others visit www.alberta.ca/prevent-the-spread.aspx.
COVID-19 information and updates are publicly available on the Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services websites: