From the City of Red Deer
City Council passes temporary mandatory face covering bylaw in Red Deer
The bylaw will officially come into effect on November 30, 2020; however, The City strongly encourages citizens to wear a face covering in accordance with the bylaw starting today.
The decision to proceed with a short-term face covering bylaw came after in-depth discussions on the topic over the past few weeks and during last week’s Special City Council Meeting. During this meeting, a number of amendments were considered by City Council, triggering the need for the third reading at today’s regular City Council meeting.
“Mandating temporary face coverings in Red Deer is a short-term measure to be responsive to the evolving pandemic in Red Deer and across the province. We know this is a divisive issue in our community, and although the Province has yet to mandate masks across Alberta, City Council believes this temporary measure is critical if we want local case numbers and hospitalization to remain flat,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Through this bylaw, we are putting into action, the recommendations of health officials because the safety, health and wellbeing of all citizens continues to be our number one priority.”
At this time, the bylaw has a sunset clause of March 1, 2021, and will expire on this date.
The bylaw mandates all citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles with the exceptions noted in the bylaw. This includes any place, whether publicly or privately owned, where members of the public have access as of right or by implied invitation.
The bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities. It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage.
The fine for not wearing a face covering in a public place is $50.
“This decision is about protecting public health and safety, protecting our health care system, and doing whatever we can to help stabilize the local economy and prevent potential future lockdowns that could result in further business impacts and closures,” said Mayor Veer. “We are all feeling the pressures of COVID-19; citizens, businesses and Albertans alike are significantly affected. The City will continue to do everything we can to support our local citizens and businesses by putting measures in place that could minimize the spread of COVID-19.”
A mandatory face covering bylaw is just one of the municipal measures being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Red Deer. The City also continues to adapt its many operations to be responsive to the changing circumstances, increase communication with citizens and businesses and to continue to seek information and support through the Province of Alberta.
Red Deer is now one of approximately nineteen other Alberta municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, to have a mandatory face covering bylaw in place.
For more information about the new bylaw and other COVID-19 restrictions, please read our Face Coverings in Public Places (Mandatory Mask) Bylaw FAQ (pdf) or visit www.reddeer.ca.
City implements COVID-19 immunization policy for staff and volunteers
The City of Red Deer has implemented a new policy aimed at relieving pressures on our healthcare system and protecting the health and safety of City of Red Deer staff and volunteers. The COVID-19 Immunization Policy outlines the requirements for City of Red Deer staff and volunteers to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.
“Over the past 19 months, we have continuously enhanced measures and encouraged immunization in our organization, but we are at a point in the pandemic where our healthcare system is overloaded, we are seeing our highest number of cases in our community resulting in serious consequences ,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “As one of Red Deer’s largest employers, we are ready to take the next step in protecting our community and our healthcare system, and today, this is through our new internal immunization policy.”
The new policy applies to all City of Red Deer staff and volunteers, and requires them to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.
To comply with this date, the following timelines apply:
• for a two dose vaccine series, employees and volunteers must receive one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 15, 2021, and the second dose by November 13, 2021.
• for a single dose vaccine series, employees and volunteers must receive the dose by November 13, 2021.
The current measures in place in City facilities for staff and patrons will continue to apply including masking, physical distancing, enhanced hand and surface sanitizing and staying home when sick.
“Immunizations are a contentious issue. People have strong opinions, which create tension in our workplaces and in our personal lives, but despite all of the emotions around this particular topic, a City of Red Deer Covid-19 immunization policy is now necessary for our staff ,” said Lodewyk. “This policy is about doing what we can to protect our employees, our community and our healthcare systems. It is about reducing the impacts on our already over-crowded hospitals where healthcare workers are working tirelessly as they continue to navigate this pandemic without judgement or hesitation. But we all must do our part too, and this policy is one step our staff at The City of Red Deer can take in the effort to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The policy will be monitored throughout the pandemic and adjusted as needed. It will be reviewed and evaluated every year following that.
The City of Red Deer implemented the COVID-19 Immunization Policy for employees and volunteers.
1. Why is The City implementing the COVID-19 Immunization Policy?
The City is implementing this policy to provide an added layer of protection for our staff to keep them and our community healthy while also protecting our healthcare system. Evidence-based data shows being fully immunized is an effective way to reduce the risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19. The City will use every reasonable precaution to safeguard employees from the risks of COVID-19.
2. Who is required to be immunized?
The COVID-19 Immunization Policy applies to all City of Red Deer employees and volunteers, with the exception of temporary workers hired solely for an election, and is not intended to replace/reduce any current departmental COVID Immunization/Vaccination Policies or Provincial/organizational COVID-19 measures in place.
3. Will new hires have the same requirements?
Yes, new employees will have to comply with the COVID-19 Immunization Policy.
4. Which policy does Emergency Services staff need to follow?
Emergency Services staff covered by the Emergency Services Department Administrative Policy – COVID-19: Mandatory Vaccination will be required to comply with the Emergency Services Policy. Emergency Services staff that the Department Administrative Policy does not apply to will follow the Corporate Administrative – Covid-19 Immunization Policy
5. Are contractors required to follow this policy?
The COVID-19 Immunization Policy applies only to City of Red Deer employees and volunteers. The City will not be requiring proof of vaccination from its contractors, suppliers or partners at this time, but we expect that all workers on our sites continue to adhere to all legislated public health restrictions including physical distancing, masking and not attending the worksite while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If this creates significant operational concerns for a specific contract situation, the contract manager is encouraged to discuss with Legal Services to determine if there may be other options for working a requirement into a current or upcoming contract.
6. What is the deadline be fully immunized?
All employees are required to be Fully Immunized against COVID-19 with a COVID-19 vaccine series by Sunday, November 28, 2021. This timeline allows a reasonable amount of time for unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated staff to schedule and receive the required doses by the deadline. Below are timelines, depending on whether receiving a single-dose or multi-dose vaccine.
a. Single Dose: Must be vaccinated on or before November 13, 2021 to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.
b. Two Dose Vaccine Series: Must receive first dose on or before Friday October 15, 2021. A second dose must be scheduled on or before November 13, 2021 to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.
7. What if an employee is already immunized?
Staff who are fully immunized can submit their immunization records to Human Resources, preferably as soon as possible but no later than November 19, 2021.
8. Is The City providing time off work for employees to get vaccinated?
Yes, employees are able to take up to three (3) hours paid time to get each dose of COVID-19 vaccination as per the Provincial vaccination pay legislation.
9. What are the approved vaccinations?
A list of the Health Canada approved vaccinations can be found here COVID-19 Vaccines: Authorized vaccines – Canada.ca.
10. What if an employee intends to get vaccinated, but will miss the deadline?
Any CORD employee that is not Fully Immunized by November 28, 2021 or has not provided proof of being Fully Immunized will be required to comply with COVID-19 rapid antigen testing requirements at their own cost.
11. If an employee has already had COVID-19, are they considered fully immunized in accordance with the COVID-19 Immunization Policy?
No, to be considered fully immunized employees must have:
• received two doses of a vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or one dose of a vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a one dose COVID-19 vaccine series; and
• had fourteen days elapse since the date on which the person received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine considered valid by Health Canada of a two dose series or one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a one dose vaccine series.
12. What happens if an employee is not fully immunized by November 28, 2021?
Employees who are not fully vaccinated by November 28, 2021 will need to comply with ongoing COVID-19 rapid antigen testing requirements at the employee’s own cost.
13. What if an employee cannot get immunized?
Employees who are not able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for a documented medical exemption or reason related to a protected ground set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act, can request accommodation through the Human Resource department.
14. What if an employee chooses to not get immunized?
Employees who decline the vaccine or decline disclosure of immunization status will need to submit ongoing COVID-19 rapid antigen testing results within 72 hours of the start of shifts, at the employee’s own cost, on their own time, starting on Monday, November 29, 2021.
15. What if an employee does not comply with the policy?
Any employee refusing to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
16. What if an employee falsifies information?
Any employee providing false or misleading information, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
17. Is the COVID-19 Immunization Policy going to change in the future?
The policy will be monitored throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to be determine if or when changes are made.
18. What other new workplace safety measures is CORD considering and/or implementing?
The City will continue to closely monitor its COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy and the evolving public health information and context, to ensure that it continues to optimally protect the health and safety of employees in the workplace and the public that they serve. If it is determined that additional precautions are necessary, CORD may decide to deploy new measures to protect employees and the public from COVID-19, and may amend this policy accordingly and/or
communicate the required precautions to impacted employees.
19. Does being fully immunized exempt employees from pre-shift symptom screening and other workplace controls (wearing a mask, physical distancing, frequent hand sanitizing, etc.) while in the workplace?
No. Employees who are fully immunized or who have an approved exemption are still required to adhere to all other City of Red Deer workplace COVID-19 hazard controls. This policy applies an added layer of protection for our City of Red Deer staff, but does not eliminate the risk of spread on it’s own. We will maintain current Provincial and organizational measures in place until further notice.
20. Will the City be offering rapid antigen testing?
The City will not be offering on-site testing.
21. Does the COVID-19 Immunization Policy apply to members of City Council?
No, this policy does not apply to The City of Red Deer Mayor or Council members. Council would need to pass a resolution to impose a policy for themselves.
22. With the upcoming election, when would Council be able to consider implementing a policy for themselves?
As there will be a new Council following the municipal election on October 18, there would not be any consideration of implementing a policy for City Council until the new Council has been sworn in.
Province decides coaches and team volunteers must be vaccinated across Alberta
News Release from The City of Red Deer
Government of Alberta includes coaches, trainers and sport volunteers in Restrictions Exemption Program
On Friday, September 24, the Government of Alberta provided additional direction regarding the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP). Of note, coaches, instructors, trainers, referees and other sport volunteers, who are 18 and older, are now subject to the Restrictions Exemption Program.
Effective September 30, anyone performing these duties in City of Red Deer owned and operated facilities are required to provide proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test result or proof of medical
Previous communications from the Government of Alberta indicated that these individuals would be exempt from the REP; however, we continue to receive new information from the province as they make changes and clarifications to the program. As the City of Red Deer has adopted the Restrictions Exemption Program, we are required to adhere to all components, as outlined by the Government of Alberta.
This change applies to all facilities participating in the Restrictions Exemption program; it was not a Red Deer specific decision.
More information about the Restriction Exemption Program, including acceptable proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative test result, is available here: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-
health-actions.aspx. Further detail is also available here: Requirements for the Restriction Exemption Program.
As a reminder, all vaccine-eligible visitors ages 18 and over, as well as those ages 12-17 who are not actively participating in programming, will need to show a valid identification card along with their proof
of vaccination, medical exemption or negative COVID-19 test result to enter City of Red Deer owned and operated facilities.
Please visit www.reddeer.ca/RecUpdate for more information about the Restrictions Exemption Program at our facilities.
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