Graham Black, assistant manager of Lethbridge’s Bread Milk and Honey Cafe, has heard some businesses are getting flack for sticking to the new mandatory mask bylaw.
He says for them, it’s not the case.
“Today is Day One, fingers crossed,” Black said. “I’ve seen and heard stories about it, but so far all of my customers have been really great about it. Those that haven’t been wearing masks have simply forgotten and they have it in their car or in their bag, and they can throw it on really easily.”
After he saw the pandemic shut down much of the city, Black says wearing a mask seems to be a reasonable trade-off to keep Lethbridge’s local hotspots in business.
Some people in Lethbridge are criticizing the new bylaw — calling it unnecessary– given the current active case count of zero in the city.
At a Monday’s city council meeting, Coun. Campbell explained that masks are not punishment, but rather a preventative measure, especially with schools resuming classes next month and Alberta’s active case count spiking.
Ross Jacobs at the Cor Van Ray YMCA says they’ve been perfecting their mask protocol for some time.
“We actually elected into it a week before the city rolled it out, just so that we could start getting our members and guests used to the process and in turn the systems needed to keep everyone safe,” Jacobs said.
The added time allowed the YMCA to figure out processes to get people safely to and from mask exemption areas like gym and pool facilities.
Jacobs says even in those areas, some people still prefer to keep masks on.
As the community adjusts to its new normal, businesses like Bread Milk and Honey say they look forward to seeing more faces come in the door.
“I think it’s necessary,” Black said. “I feel a lot safer with it and my customers feel safer too.”
City council will revisit the bylaw on Dec. 31 to evaluate its impact.