Masks mandatory in Hastings Prince Edward, Haliburton-Kawartha regions

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Local residents will be mandated to wear face coverings at local businesses very soon.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit Acting Medical Officer of Health Doctor Alexa Caturay issued a letter to businesses, advising that by noon on Friday, policies must be in place to ensure that individuals entering indoor commercial premises are wearing non-medical masks or face coverings.
This is being done as an additional measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area, Caturay stated.

“Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is an additional preventive measure that, when combined with other infection control efforts, will help further reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Caturay stated.

“Clear policies in commercial establishments will help reinforce use of non-medical masks and face coverings. We are committed to working together with local municipalities and businesses to implement appropriate, proactive, infection control approaches and keep our community safe.”

HPEPH expects to work in partnership with local municipalities and businesses to enforce these requirements “in good faith,”

Businesses are being asked to develop these policies to reinforce existing public health recommendations to wear face coverings.

The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit and its Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, issued a similar mandate Tuesday.

The use of masks will be required as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 13, while the provincial Emergency Order remains in force or until such time that the Ministry of Health lifts the requirement.

Under the Health Unit’s instructions, commercial establishments are premises that are openly accessible to members of the public and used for the purposes of offering goods or services for sale.

An establishment would include a mall or other structure containing commercial premises, including: retail stores, convenience stores, restaurants, personal services settings, grocery stores and bakeries, gas stations, indoor farmers’ markets, areas of mechanics’ shops/garages/repair shops, which are open to the public.