Following a heated discussion Friday afternoon, Lethbridge County has voted five to two in favour of a mandatory mask bylaw for the region.
County officials said in discussions that they were hoping for the province to make the call, but after discussion with many citizens who wrote and called in, it was the right call to make.
“I think it’s a majority of everyone’s opinion that this is really a provincial government issue,” Reeve Lorne Hickey said late Friday. “And it’s unfortunate that they haven’t come to the table.”
The Town of Coaldale voted “no” to mandatory masks Friday morning. On the town’s Facebook page, a statement from officials said now is “not the time” to implement a bylaw, but rather to “emphasize current public health measures” already in place.
Lethbridge County will continue to emphasize those COVID-19 measures, but Hickey said with case counts skyrocketing, this is a step in the right direction.
“This particular part of the country, and in the M.D. of Taber and that area, are getting to be very high numbers and we need to be able to control it,” Hickey said. “Be safe, be thoughtful. The responsibility is on the people as well.
“We can make all the bylaws in the world, but if people don’t follow or don’t do the right thing, it’s not going to help any. It’s just a matter of… we’re trying to help out where we can.”
Watch below: Some Global News videos about the use of masks in Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic.