Red Deer school divisions enhance mask mandates

EDMONTON — Red Deer’s public and Catholic school divisions updated their masking policies over the long weekend.

Both divisions recommended masks but did not require them before the school year started.

However last Friday, the Alberta government made masks mandatory in indoor spaces across the province, then told school divisions to decide for themselves if they wanted staff and students to wear them.

Starting Tuesday, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Red Deer Public Schools said all staff and students would have to wear masks on school buses, in common areas and where physical distancing would not be possible.

In classrooms, both divisions said students could remove their masks if they are facing forward and sitting in rows with spacing.

Students and staff don’t have to wear masks outside or when they’re exercising, they added.

People who can’t wear a masks will need a doctor’s note.

In its announcement, Red Deer Public Schools expressed frustration with the province’s approach to let each division decide its mask mandate and passed a motion to communicate its concerns with the government.

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