People in Windsor will need to keep wearing masks in all public spaces for foreseeable future, as decided by city council Monday, but not everyone was in favour of the announcement.
The city's masking bylaw, which requires everyone to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth in all indoor public spaces, was set to expire Monday but a unanimous vote during council meeting extended the rule indefinitely, or specifically: "until the threat of COVID-19 subsides and council chooses to revoke the bylaw."
Following the vote, dozens of people stood outside city hall in protest. Some had been delegates who spoke during the meeting and said they were not in favour of an extension.
Reasons in support of an extension, according to council, included:
- Cases are climbing.
- Other provinces are seeing a second wave.
- Ontario is bracing for a return of COVID and rolling back the number of people allowed for gatherings.
- Other municipalities have face covering bylaws in place.
- Children are back at school.
- Colder weather means more people will be mostly indoors.
On Monday, Ontario reported 700 new COVID-19 cases, a majority of which are from Toronto and Peel Region.
Locally, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported three new cases.
Windsor's masking bylaw initially came into effect Aug. 19 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Under the bylaw, all residents, excluding children under the age of two and those with underlying medical conditions, must wear a mask inside businesses, community centres, places of worship, entertainment venues and any common areas in multi-use spaces such as the lobby, elevator, laundry room and hallways.
The region is also under a section 22 order from the local health unit, which began June 26, and requires all people entering a commercial establishment to wear a mask.
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