Top Ontario doctor to ask public to mask up as respiratory illnesses rage: sources

TORONTO — Two government sources say Ontario's top doctor will recommend the public begin masking on Monday in an effort to help overwhelmed children's hospitals.

The sources, who are speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the process publicly, says there will be no mask mandate.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has said this fall and winter would see a resurgence of respiratory illnesses and he would recommend masking in certain indoor settings if hospitals began cancelling surgeries to deal with a surge of patients.

Children's hospitals across the province are already overwhelmed with pediatric patients.

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa have said they are cancelling surgeries to redeploy health-care workers to intensive care and emergency departments.

The Ontario Hospital Association is asking people to wear masks indoors and to get up-to-date vaccinations for COVID-19 and influenza.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press