face mask

Ontario is now officially recommending that residents wear face masks

Shortly after federal health officials issued a formal recommendation for Canadians to wear non-medical face masks in scenarios where proper social distancing may not be possible, the provincial government gave the same advice to residents of Ontario, specifically.

In their daily press briefing on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott together announced the province's official recommendation on behalf of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, recognizing that now that things like retail stores have started opening up provincewide, a higher level of caution may be necessary in some situations.

"If you're going out for necessities or if you're taking public transit and you can't keep two metres apart, we recommend that you wear a non-medical mask or face covering," Ford said, adding that proper social distancing and staying home when experiencing respiratory symptoms are still the most crucial measures to exercise.

The province also issued some new guidelines surrounding mask wearing, which include specifics like how to properly wear the garment and what it should be made of (at least two layers of tightly woven fabric that tie around the back of the head or ears and cover the nose or moth without gaping), which types of face coverings are appropriate (medical masks should be reserved for frontline healthcare workers only), and who shouldn't wear one (children under two years old, anyone who has breathing issues and/or anyone who can't remove the mask themselves).

Those taking transit, in particular, are strongly urged to wear a face covering — just one of a number of new recommendations for transit agencies and riders across the province.

These also include reducing vehicle capacity, implementing physical distancing markers, making hand sanitizer available at entry and exit points, enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces and the installation of plexiglass between operators and passengers.

As he spoke about all of Ontario's new recommendations, Ford called mask-wearing "the right thing to do," adding that he personally "highly, highly" recommends any type of face covering be donned whenever possible before going out in public for the health and safety of both wearers and those around them.

Lead photo by

@mbaumi/Unsplash


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