While COVID-19 cases continue to soar in Alberta, many municipalities in the region have carried mandatory mask bylaws.
The Town of Taber and M.D. of Taber carried mandatory mask bylaws last week in response to infection numbers rising in the area.
Under the new bylaw, a person “must wear a face covering at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle.”
The rise in cases in the entire region pretty much solidified the need to try to tackle the issue in a more direct man- ner and a mask bylaw is one step in that direction.
While some are no doubt off-put by being told what to do, wearing a mask really has no political affiliation and it’s more about being kind and considerate to your community.
There are many at-risk individuals in the region and putting such a bylaw in place should make them more comfortable when they go out of their homes for essential services.
The CDC recommends people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people, so having a bylaw in place doesn’t hurt anyone.
“I think we’re just looking for the maximum compliance possible, is I think the end-all goal here, following all the AHS rules and recommendations and restrictions, and I think this just ties into it. And ultimately doing the right thing for the safety and benefit of our community residents, and area residents as well,” said Taber Mayor Andrew Prokop at the town’s special meeting last week.
The key with any mask bylaw will be compliance and we hope people respect the potential negative effects that could come with a mass outbreak in the area. Putting on a mask is simple, and a fairly effective way to prevent transmis- sion so why not fire a mask on when heading into the local grocery store?
Plenty of people have been doing this already and with the bylaw, you have to think those who were not doing it before, will now hopefully understand the reason and need for a mask.
Enforcing a mask bylaw will not be perfect, like any other bylaw, and we have to hope people will be considerate during this time.
Getting through this pandemic is on the minds of the vast majority and while vaccines are on their way, masks are a stopgap to curb the spread at the moment.
And while vaccines are projected to reach Canada next month, roll out for every Canadian will not be immediate.
Projections currently show three million available in the first few months of 2021 and then millions more doses will come to Canada later.
And currently, vaccines won’t be mandatory, so who truly knows the amount of Canadians who will get vaccinated?
Either way, they won’t be available for millions of Canadians in the beginning of 2021, so masks will still be needed if the numbers don’t come back down to a more reasonable number.
We, like everyone else, can’t wait for the pandemic to be over, but it’s truly a team effort in getting over this and for now, let’s do what we can to stop the spread in our community.