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.”
Wolf Creek Public School’s board of trustees moved to not make masking mandatory for students and staff any where inside of schools. However, students and staff are strongly encouraged to mask in common school areas where social distancing is not possible.
“We understand that this is a sensitive issue and time for all our communities, as we work together to make it a safe and successful school year,” says WCPS Superintendent Tim De Ruyck in an update to WCPS parents and guardians.
“We truly appreciate all the feedback that the board received from families and school communities, and thank you for your continued support for our schools, students, teachers and school staff.
However their decision does not include school buses, where the province has mandated that all K-12 students and staff must be masked. 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.
Some parents of WCPS students are airing their concerns about the school board’s decision to not implement mandatory masking in their schools amid rising provincial cases.
Red Deer Public Schools, Calgary Public Schools, Edmonton Public Schools, and Rocky View have all implemented mask mandates.
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. Because of this WCPS is pausing all indoor gatherings including assemblies and graduations until further notice.
Extra curricular activities and sports will continue, however no spectators will be permitted at indoor sports events and practices and virtual meetings where possible are encouraged.