One of the last major cities in Alberta has now jumped onto the mandatory mask wearing train.

The City of Medicine Hat passing a temporary face covering bylaw this week joining Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie.

Several other smaller communities have mask-wearing bylaws as well.

“We are also trying to relieve the pressure on our local business owners and operators. They want to follow all guidelines to ensure they can stay open, but they need the support of a bylaw to enforce mask use. It’s not fair to lay that burden on front line staff,” Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston

The bylaw, which comes into effect Friday, December 4th and mandates the use of face coverings in public places and public vehicles in Medicine Hat in an effort to decrease the rate of COVID-19 virus transmission.

Mayor Ted Clugston says this is one of the most divisive issues Medicine Hat Council has faced, and it’s weighed this matter very carefully.

“The city maintains the view that public health is not under municipal jurisdiction and that our residents are responsible and capable enough to take advice from public health officials and do the right thing. However, with the recent surge in local positive cases and significant feedback from our residents, it is clear our community is looking for this decision at the local level,” says Clugston.

The Medicine Hat masking bylaw is very similar to the one that’s been in place in Lethbridge since August.