With rising COVID-19 case numbers across the province, on Sept. 3, 2021, Chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw and the Government of Alberta announced that they would be re-introducing temporary health measures in Alberta to help reduce the spread of the virus.
One of these mandates is reinstating the provincial mandatory masking/ face covering bylaw. As of Sept. 4, 2021, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces and employees are to wear a mask in all indoor work settings except when at work stations.
Masks are not required while participating in a physical fitness activity, performance activity, worship service or at a place of worship.
On the Government of Alberta’s website, Alberta Health states, “schools are not required to implement masking, but school boards will continue to set COVID-19 management policies as deemed appropriate.”
WRPS moved to only make masking mandatory for visitors, students Grades 4-12, and staff in indoor common areas which includes hallways, bootrooms and washrooms.
WRPS opted to make masking not mandated for students or staff in classrooms or playgrounds.
“However, we will continue to support students and staff who choose to wear a mask in these areas,” WRPS states in an update to their 2021-2022 school year plan.
Their decision does not include school buses, where the province has mandated that all K-12 students and staff must be masked until at least Sept. 27, 2021. Anybody who is unable to wear a mask where required due to an approved medical condition will require a medical exemption from an authorized health professional.
Red Deer Public Schools, Calgary Public Schools, Edmonton Public Schools, and Rocky View have all implemented mask mandates. Wolf Creek Public Schools has also made the decision to not mandate masks inside of their schools.
The provincial government has also recommended that unvaccinated Albertans limit social gatherings to close contacts of only two cohort families up to a maximum of 10 people.
There is no word yet from WRPS on whether new provincial mandates and suggestions will impact extracurricular activities or assemblies.