Ontario residents are being reminded to continue obeying public health guidelines, as the province begins its reopening process. The message came as the provincial government unveiled more details on how it ke.
“I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less. Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against,” Premier Doug Ford said. Residents are advised to remain 2 metres (or six feet) away from others, and stay home as much as possible.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams is now recommending that residents wear a mask where physical distancing is not possible in situations such as on public transit, and in smaller grocery stores. “If you need a face covering, it is critically important people wear one that is appropriate for the situation,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. The province has released a set of three guidelines:
- Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
- Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
- Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
People who are unable to tolerate a mask should practise the other public health advice.
The Ministry of Transportation is introducing new restrictions for public transit agencies. “Ontario’s public transit systems are critical to supporting the economy and getting people where they need to go as the province begins to reopen,” Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said. Restrictions include the use physical distancing through the admission of fewer passengers, and ensuring the availability of hand sanitizer when entering/ exiting the vehicle.
Ontario extended all of its emergency orders until May 29, 2020.