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Hi everyone:

A Merry Christmas to you as we approach the final days of 2020. Thank you to all of you for your patience and support during this trying year. Thank you for adapting to the changes we’ve had to make. We also praise God for sustaining us through this difficult time.

We are continuing to adapt to the new restrictions mandated by the provincial government on December 8. We would ask for your continued grace as we work our way through this together. So here are the updates:

1) It is now required in St Albert to abide the provincial mask mandate for everyone older than 2.

This is from the City of St Albert website.

“On December 8, 2020, the Government of Alberta implemented new public health orders that apply to the entire province. One of the Orders includes a mandatory mask-wearing requirement for indoor public places, subject to certain exceptions. St. Albert is under the mandatory mask-wearing measure. For specific details on the active Public Health Orders, visit the Government of Alberta website at COVID-19 orders and legislation.

At this time, St. Albert’s Face Coverings Bylaw also remains in effect. However, to the extent that the Provincial Order and the Face Coverings Bylaw are inconsistent, the Provincial Order will prevail. One example is the range of ages at which children are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask. The Bylaw exempts any child under 10 years old, but the Provincial Order exempts only children under the age of two, which means that children in St. Albert above two years of age are required by law to wear masks indoors unless some other exemption applies to them.”

Therefore, we must now ask families that attend with small children to ensure children 3 and older wear face masks.

2) A question remains about whether face shields qualify as appropriate face coverings.

“Face shields do not replace masks or face coverings.
A face shield is used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it. Using a face shield without a mask won’t protect:
• you from potentially inhaling infectious respiratory droplets exhaled by others
• others from your infectious respiratory droplets, as they can escape around the face shield
If you’re unable to wear a mask or face covering, you may want to wear a face shield. Choose one that extends around the sides of the face and below the chin. You’ll still need to:
• maintain physical distancing of 2 metres
• practise good hand hygiene, especially if you touch the face shield.”

The Provincial Government states (above) that face shields do not replace masks as face coverings, yet allows for face shields that extend around the face and below the chin, however the city of St. Albert does allow face shields as seen below.

Can I wear a face shield?
Yes. On October 19, 2020, St. Albert City Council amended the Face Coverings Bylaw so that face shields were included as part of the face covering definition. This amendment was made to provide additional clarity to residents.   

Therefore, we request that all attendees wear a mask and use an alternate only in the case of medical need.

We realize that adapting to changing regulations is tiring. However, we also want to offer the safest environment possible for those who chose to attend during this time.

Thank you again for your consideration and patience. We pray that you will be able to join us in person or on line over the next weeks as we gather to worship the Lord and celebrate the sending of His Son.

We continue to pray for you and miss seeing you in person.

But until then, may God’s grace and peace flood your lives through this season and into 2021!

Pastor Tom