Municipal mask order lifts, province-wide mask order remains; 39 active cases in Fort McMurray

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With fewer than 50 active COVID-19 cases in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area, the municipal mandatory mask bylaw has been lifted. But, the province-wide mask rule is still in place. The municipal order will return if active COVID-19 cases again rise above 50.

On Thursday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) reported less than 50 active cases of COVID-19 in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area. Under the municipal bylaw, which passed in October, the bylaw would be reviewed every 30 days and end if active case numbers had dropped below 50.

The bylaw was passed by council before the Alberta government introduced a province-wide mask rule in November.

The provincial mask bylaw still applies to businesses and people in public indoor spaces. This includes places of worship, indoor workplaces, schools and on public transit.

The municipal bylaw was slightly different from the provincial order. The provincial order requires masks on children that are at least two, while the municipality applied the order to five. The municipal order exempted places of worship, while the provincial order does not.

The municipal order allowed masks to be removed when eating and drinking at a designated seating area, while the province allowed exemptions for eating and drinking in general.

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today