UNA urges province, Chief Medical Officer of Health, to adopt mandatory masking policy

United Nurses of Alberta is calling on the Government of Alberta and the Chief Medical Officer of Health to immediately implement mandatory wearing of face masks in enclosed workplaces and public spaces for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNA’s Executive Board passed a motion late yesterday noting that the use of face masks are an essential part of suppressing the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 when used along with other preventive measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

“We know that wearing a face mask helps protect the people around you, including other workers who frequently come into close contact with those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” said UNA President Heather Smith.

“As medical professionals, nurses understand the gravity of this pandemic and the serious health consequences COVID-19 poses,” she said. “We also understand the economic necessity of getting Alberta back to work and preventing the need for another lockdown."

“The best way to do this is through mandatory masking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces,” Smith said.

“We urge the government and the CMOH to act on this immediately, as other jurisdictions already have,” she concluded.

Wearing a face mask in public

Albertans are encouraged to wear non-medical masks in public when it's difficult to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.

Wearing a homemade or non-medical mask in public is another tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks should complement – not replace – other prevention measures. Continue physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and stay home when sick.