Mask education preferred instead of bylaw

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

After reviewing a public survey on mask use, the Town of Peace River has opted to focus on a mask education campaign rather than a bylaw.

Mayor Tom Tarpey started off the regular meeting of council by apologizing to Councillor Colin Needham for being “short” with him during the previous meeting.

Council then agreed to have town staff develop public service announcements [PSAs] on masks.

The key messages in the upcoming mask education campaign will include how to properly and safely put a mask on and take it off; proper disposal of masks; the fact that masks help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus; and the fact that mask use complements physical distancing, personal hygiene, and gathering size limits but does not replace those health measures.

The PSAs might be presented through graphics, videos, digital signage, and on social media, as well as potentially through mailouts.

The campaign will take a positive approach to mask use by building on the idea that mask wearing is a way to protect vulnerable members of the community.

The costs of the campaign are already within the parameters of the 2020 approved operating budget.

The City of Grande Prairie and the Town of Fairview have both passed mask bylaws that will be triggered to come into effect only if those municipalities reach a certain number of coronavirus cases.

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