Toronto mayor wants masks mandatory, citing US problems

Mayor Tory expected to make mandatory masks announcement

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and noted many cities in the USA are seeing a resurgence in cases since reopening.

This new bylaw will remain in place until the next city council meeting, scheduled for September 30, 2020.

The bylaw does not require people with certain medical conditions or children under two years old to wear masks.

"Since the beginning of this pandemic I have asked you to take care of each other".

While the province said no, Premier Doug Ford said municipalities are free to make their own regulations.

Masks will become mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Toronto. As of Tuesday, there have been 14,320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto and 1,093 deaths.

"Doing so at a local level would ensure responsiveness to community needs without applying the same policy to regions with little to no COVID", she said.

"You have told us you don't want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States", he said.

He said that could mean that the "no shirts, no shoes, no business" policy invoked by some business could soon be expanded to include masks as well. "There won't really be an aggressive enforcement. To be candid about it, we don't have the resources to go around and look in every store, look at every person".

"We're going to rely largely on education and public awareness", Tory said. The province has opted instead for a policy of strongly encouraging the public to wear non-medical masks and face coverings in busy indoor spaces.

A similar bylaw was expected to be passed in Peel Region later this week, officials announced Tuesday.

The bylaw could be in effect in Brampton as early as July 7 pending council approval. "It's apples and oranges", said Ford. So each public health area will have the authority. I think it is good. "I encourage them to do that". That rule will come into place on Thursday, with single-use masks being handed out to passengers who do not have one.

"It is our hope that people will do the right thing for their families, their friends and their neighbours", she said.

"We need as many people as possible wearing cloth masks for face coverings to reduce virus spread", she added.

In response, the municipal leaders came up with a coordinated plan to enforce a mandatory face mask policy for most of the GTHA. "Just look what is happening south of the border".



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