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Stacey Barnes, the council administrator with the Town of Hay River, displays some of the facemasks at the front counter of town hall, one of the municipal facilities where it is now mandatory to wear a facemask as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are a few exceptions for sports, fitness activities and dining.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The Town of Hay River has announced a mandatory facemask policy for its facilities.

Effective Dec. 14, the requirement covers all employees and anyone else entering and remaining in the buildings.

“The town is committed to ensuring that employees and patrons are having safe interactions within our facilities,” stated a Dec. 11 announcement from the town.

Approved facemasks must completely cover the nose, mouth and chin.

“Public will be refused service should they not comply with wearing an approved facemask within the Town of Hay River facilities,” the statement added. “Anyone who is unable to wear an approved facemask must identify yourself as soon as you enter a facility or call ahead for recommendations.”

Exceptions for temporary removal of facemasks will be while participating in athletics, aquatics activities, fitness programming and/or other events previously approved by the chief public health officer of the NWT.

Facemasks are also required at The Sub on the Hub and the Curling Club, where patrons are required to wear facemasks until they are seated at a table and consuming food or beverages.

Council passed a motion during its Dec. 7 online meeting to direct town administration to develop and implement a facemask policy for all enclosed facilities operated by the municipality.

Mayor Kandis Jameson noted the policy applies just to town facilities.

“We’re not dictating to anyone else,” she said.

Glenn Smith, the senior administrative officer with the town, said that other communities with facemask policies had been consulted, such as the Town of Fort Smith.

A number of other organizations and businesses in Hay River previously implemented facemask requirements, including the post office, Ring’s Drugstore and the liquor store.

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Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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