Ontario Govt. Now Recommending People Wearing Face Coverings

Wednesday May 20th, 2020

Posted at 1:52pm

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The Ontario government is now recommending people wear face coverings such as non-medical masks when physical distancing is a challenge.

The Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible.

Now that the province is reopening, officials said in a statement “individuals should wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible, such as on public transit or in a small grocery store or pharmacy.”

The Ministry of Health released the following face covering recommendations to “reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19”:

  • Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
  • Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
  • Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.

The Ministry of Health released this poster on face coverings.

“If you need a face covering, it is critically important people wear one that is appropriate for the situation,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. “Those taking transit or going out who can’t physically distance should wear non-medical grade cloth masks. We need to reserve all of the medical masks to protect our frontline health care workers, first responders and people who are ill.”

The province says workers and employers can also consider using face coverings as an additional public health measure in addition to mandatory occupational health and safety measures.

“Now that we are in Stage 1 of our Framework for Reopening the Province, more people will be returning to workplaces, going to stores and parks, and using public transit,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice, such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less. Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against. Please stay safe and protect yourself and others.”

The province has a new webpage dedicated to face coverings where you can learn about how to properly wear, fit, remove and clean non-medical face masks:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/face-coverings-and-face-masks

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