Grey Bruce Health Unit readies mask orders

The Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health is finalizing details regarding face coverings in some public indoor spaces.

The Order will be implemented in conjunction with the province’s Stage 3 re-opening; optimally three days following the provincial announcement to provide time for affected parties to be prepared.

The Order will enable establishments to require employees and customers to use face coverings, although in its most recent statement, the health unit points out there is no need to turn away a customer to achieve the best effort standard.

And the Order would only apply to areas that are normally accessible to the general public and would not include areas such as an administrative area.

Exemptions would include:
Children under the age of two years
Children under the age of 5 years, either chronologically or developmentally unable to tolerate face covering, or refuses to wear a face covering
For people who cannot tolerate face covering for any medical condition
Or any reason required under the Human Rights Code

Establishments in Grey and Bruce Counties may be able to obtain masks for no cost based on donations to make available to people who cannot purchase their own masks. For example, Bruce Power has donated 120,000 one-time masks to local organizations including Chambers of Commerce and Food Banks.

The Order will remain in place for four weeks, and can be renewed. This will provide time to develop more permanent solutions such as municipal by-laws or provincial regulations.

“Asking people to wear a face covering is another tool we can use to prevent spread of COVID-19.” says Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra. “We are seeing increasing complacency in the community with earlier recommendations of physical distancing. That and the Stage 3 re-opening plan will, by definition, include activities with highest contact intensity and that would require significant modifications to maintain public health safety. Mask use will reduce the risk for the most vulnerable of us.”