At a Special Council meeting on November 25, 2020, Beaver County Council adopted the Face Covering Bylaw (No. 20-1098) to enhance safety measures in the prevention of the spread of COVID - 19. 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.
Frequently asked questions
What is a face covering?
In the County's Face Covering 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.
Is a face shield an acceptable face covering?
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 Beaver County's Face Covering Bylaw. This is consistent with the bylaws of other municipalities.
Are there any exceptions to who needs to wear a face covering?
The following exceptions are identified in the County's Face Covering Bylaw:
- children under 2 years of age;
- persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a Face Covering;
- persons who are unable to place, use, or remove a Face Covering safely without assistance;
- persons who are caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a Face Covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability;
- persons who are eating or drinking at a Public Premise that offers food or beverage services in designated seating areas;
- persons who have temporarily removed their Face Covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service; and
- persons engaging in an athletic, fitness, or water activity, the latter being an activity where their face may be submerged in water, including but not limited to persons employed as a lifeguard.
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 do not judge others for not wearing a mask.
How about exceptions to places where masks are required?
The following places are exceptions under Beaver County's bylaw. However, people should follow the face covering guidelines in place by each individual organization.
- Schools, as defined by the School Act, RSA 200 c S-3;
- Day Care facilities, as defined in Beaver County’s Land Use Bylaw;
- Portions of buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps;
- Areas not open to the general public in offices of professional service providers such as lawyers and accountants where clients receive services; and
- Hospitals, independent health facilities, and offices of regulated health professionals.
How long will the bylaw be in effect?
The bylaw is in effect until further notice, but Council will consider rescinding the bylaw as the Provincial COVID – 19 situation improves.
Information for businesses
With the implementation of the Face Covering Bylaw, it is now mandatory for face coverings to be worn in all spaces of your business that are accessible to the public.
What areas of my business are impacted?
The County's bylaw requires masks to be worn in all areas of your business that are accessible to the public, for example, a front lobby or waiting room, or a storefront.
To help increase awareness for face covering requirements, we have designed a poster for businesses to print and display at the entrance(s) of your business.