Mandatory Face Coverings?
York Region has mandated that masks or face coverings are to be worn.
Here’s what you need to know:
Starting Friday, July 17, masks worn while out in public will be a requirement as per a unanimous vote by the councillors of York Region. Some of the areas where masks and face coverings will become mandatory will include malls, retail stores, grocery and convenience stores, places of worship, libraries, recreational facilities, businesses that provide personal care such as hair and nail salons, among others. Residents and visitors to York Region will still be permitted to enjoy a meal on a patio but must respect the rules of social distancing.
York region business owners and operators are being encouraged to make their best effort to prohibit the entry of non-mask-wearers to their establishments. The region has acknowledged that there is a possibility of charges being laid against those that are not following the rules, but they would like to err on the side of education and not enforcement where possible.
The goal for our region is to reach 80% of the population wearing masks or face coverings. According to a study completed recently approximately 65% of people are already sporting them voluntarily while out in public.
As with anything there are exceptions to the rule that we must be aware of and take into consideration. Exempted from the policy are children under 5 years of age, those with underlying medical issues, and those who are unable to put on and remove a mask or face covering without assistance.
The good news is that studies have shown that in areas that masks are already mandated, they have had a marked decrease in new cases. For instance a German city found that three weeks after invoking their mask mandate, they saw a 40% drop in Covid-19 cases. Of course this won't be the case everywhere, but it does give a glimmer of hope that with this mandate from the region we will see a light at the end of the tunnel.