ontario mask mandate

Ontario refuses to issue new mask mandate as hospitals reach crisis mode

A new Ontario mask mandate for November of 2022 has yet to materialize as expected, with the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health choosing instead on Monday morning to hand down another "strong recommendation" as opposed to any actual rules. 

Dr. Kieran Moore explained during a presser at Queen's Park early Nov. 14 that Ontario is facing a "triple threat" of illnesses that are putting "extraordinary pressure" on our pediatric care system.

A combination of COVID, Influenza and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has created an ER situation described by Ontario Health's Dr. Chris Simpson as "unlike anything we've seen." 

In a somewhat surprising development to this now nearly 3-year-old saga, Moore did not re-implement a mask mandate, as many had been expecting on Monday morning.

Instead, he is "reminding all Ontarians" to take collective action by getting back to the basic protective measures we've all been taking since March of 2020, including frequent hand washing and staying home when ill.

Moore is also encouraging all eligible people in the province to get a flu shot and to keep young children away from crowds.

A document issued by Ontario's Ministry of Health this morning states that Moore is "strongly recommending that Ontarians mask in all indoor public settings, including in schools and in 
childcare settings."

"Children aged two to five should only wear a mask with supervision if they can safely tolerate masking, and can put it on and take it off," reads the document.

"As the risk to Ontarians increases. we need to get back to the basics we know work:

  • Mask in indoor public settings. including schools and childcare settings due to the additional risk of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Influenza 
  • Stay up to date with your vaccines
  • Screen for respiratory symptoms daily
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Always practice good hand hygiene and regularly clean surfaces - which is especially important for RSV and flu viruses"

When asked directly by reporters why he wasn't going so far as to implement a mask mandate, Moore deflected the question and spoke instead about the importance of protecting Ontario's children.

He did admit in response to another question that a mask mandate would be the next logical step to take, if more protective measures are required.

Prior to March 21 of 2022, Ontarians were for years required by law to wear face coverings inside schools, shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores, bars, gyms and other settings.

Masking rules remained in place at the time for certain high-risk settings, such as public transit and hospitals, were lifted in June.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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