Anyone paying a parking ticket at city hall or attending an activity at a community centre in Richmond, B.C., could soon have to wear a mask while doing so to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Richmond city councillors unanimously supported a motion Monday that will make it mandatory for face masks to be worn in all city buildings — which also include libraries, museums, pools, police facilities, arts facilities and the Richmond Olympic Oval.
There have been 271 cases of COVID-19 in Richmond since the pandemic began, which, according to data released by the province in August, was the lowest number of cases per capita in the Lower Mainland.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie wants to keep it that way.
"Where the numbers are low and we are just reopening the facilities, now is the time to step [up] the expectations," said Brodie on CBC's The Early Edition on Tuesday.
He said many Richmond residents have been donning masks since the onset of the pandemic and he believes this could have contributed to low numbers of cases in the region.
"Because of cultural and other factors, I think that the prevalence of wearing masks is very widespread, it's very well accepted and accepted as the norm," said Brodie.
"We have had low numbers... hopefully it stays that way and I think the prevalence of wearing a mask has been a factor in that," the mayor added.
City council has no jurisdiction over schools or individual businesses and Brodie said the mask policy would not, for now, include public plazas or outdoor city spaces.
"We can always fine tune it in the future," he said.
The unanimously agreed-upon motion will be voted on at the next council meeting, scheduled for Oct. 13.
Tap here to listen to the complete interview with Malcolm Brodie on The Early Edition.