Wearing Masks: Backgrounder

Lots to Consider for leaders looking to pass mask-related bylaws

By: Laura Steiner

As Canada has started moving towards a full reopening, there is a lot of information about wearing masks or face coverings as a way of preventing or slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends a non-medical mask or facial covering when physical distancing is impossible including locations such as stores, shopping areas and public transportation. They add that “Wearing a mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19,” and urge people to practice hand-washing as well as physical distancing.

Public Health Ontario recommends residents wear masks in situations where physical distancing is impossible. This includes environments such as public transit, and visiting grocery stores. The province will not make wearing a mask mandatory, however several municipalities have or are looking at doing so.

Longos has become one of the first businesses that have introduced mandatory mask-wearing policies. Beauty salons also require that a mask be worn while getting a haircut.

“Children under the age of two, or anyone who has trouble breathing should not wear face coverings or masks,” Halton Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani said.

For more on how to make masks visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.

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