City council extends temporary face coverings bylaw to end of January

Beaumont city council unanimously approved an extension to the Temporary Face Coverings bylaw.

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Beaumont city council unanimously approved an extension to the Temporary Face Coverings bylaw.

At the regular meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 27, Beaumont council approved an extension of bylaw 984-20, Temporary Face Coverings bylaw until Jan. 31, 2021.

Administration reported to council that as of Oct. 27, there have been 63 total cases of COVID-19 in Beaumont, 26 currently active cases and one death related to COVID-19.

The bylaw states that masks or face coverings must be worn in all public facilities, premises and vehicles, with some exceptions. Exceptions include individuals with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that hinder their ability to wear a mask, persons engaging in athletic or fitness activity, persons seated at a restaurant or bar table and others.

More information on face coverings requirements in Beaumont can be read at www.beaumont.ab.ca/668/Face-covering-requirements.

During the open forum of the council meeting, council heard two presentations from Beaumont citizens speaking against mandatory face covering use in Beaumont.

An online petition was also started to repeal the Temporary Face Coverings bylaw by a coalition of Beaumont residents. A petition was created on change.org, but taken down shortly after by the site.

The group made the following statement to La Nouvelle on the condition that individuals’ identities remain anonymous:

“A coalition of residents of the City of Beaumont, coming from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, have expressed deep concerns over the mandatory mask bylaw. Because they support multiple reasons why people are unable to wear masks, including reasons related to health and safety, they created a petition to be included in a submission to City council to repeal the City of Beaumont By-Law 984-20.

“Within three days of being posted, and once it had gained momentum by reaching almost 500 names, the host site – www.change.org – decided to delete their petition. The nature of the petition was said to ‘violate community standards’ even though the site clearly stated that ‘all content no matter how contentious is allowed on our platform’.”

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