Mask mandates extended in select settings

·1 min read

TORONTO – Provincial mask requirements for indoor spaces like medical facilities, long-term care homes, public transit and other areas of high-risk were extended to June 11.

The mask requirements, the last still in place in Ontario, were set to expire April 27.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, made the announcement April 22.

“Continuing to follow masking requirements and keeping up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations are the best ways we can prevent transmission and protect our friends, families, and our communities,” he said. “To protect our progress in managing this latest wave, I am maintaining masking requirements in specific public settings where individuals who are, or may be, at increased risk of severe outcomes, are in close contact for extended periods of time.”

Mask mandates were first put in place in July 2020. Beginning mid-March this year, indoor face mask wearing became optional including at over 4,800 schools province-wide. Since then, infection rates for COVID-19 in the province have increased. This coincides with the arrival of the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant. Moore cited the sub-variant as a reason for completely lifting mask mandates in Ontario.

Indoor face mask are still required on public transit (bus, train, plane), in health care settings like doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and laboratories, and in long-term care and retirement homes.

Homeless shelters and other congregate care locations also need masks worn. In addition, federal mask mandates for inter-provincial air, water, bus, and train travel remain in place.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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