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Council to discuss mandatory masks or face-coverings

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has instructed that people are prohibited from entering commercial establishments without wearing a face covering – as of 12:01 p.m. Friday, June 10.

Prince Edward County Council reinforced the public health instruction, approving a bylaw to come forward to include all enclosed public spaces, on top of the HPEPH’s commercial establishments instructions. UPDATE click here 

JULY 7 – Prince Edward County council will discuss making non-medical masks or face coverings mandatory in indoor public spaces.

A report to council for tonight’s meeting states councillors have received hundreds of items of correspondence, phone calls and social media comments on the municipality’s position on the use of masks and face coverings.

Anecdotally, businesses have shared stories of people refusing to wear masks, and are looking for stronger support of policies to refuse entry on these grounds. Others are concerned about the costs of supplying masks when customers do not bring their own.

Current federal and provincial guidance states wearing a mask or face covering is recommended when it is not possbile to consistently maintain a two-metre physical distance from others, particularly in public settings such as stores, shopping areas and public transportation.

Mandatory mask and face coverings in enclosed spaces are being enforced to help avoid the spread of the coronavirus in Kingston due to a recent outbreak; Ottawa, Toronto, Muskoka and several other regions, as the province moves toward Stage 3 of reopening.

To date, there have been 224 cases of COVID-19 in the Hastings and Prince Edward region, with 43 confirmed cases. No new cases have been reported since May 18 and HPE considers all to be medically resolved.

The local public health has not mandated face coverings, noting it would be premature considering the current number of local cases.

Alexa Caturay acting medical officer of health, is expected to make a deputation at tonight’s meeting, beginning at 7 p.m.

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    There is not one shred of proof that some mysterious unnamed entity has manipulated “this whole thing … with the aim of upsetting the American economy, creating unrest and uncertainty in advance of their election this fall. The rest of the world is getting dragged along for the ride.”

    As far as masks are concerned they are not the solution – a vaccine is. But, one only has to look south of the border to see what happens when ignorant, self-interested politicians instead of medical professionals call the shots. Businesses there are opened wide too early with no masks and no social distancing and now the number of new cases is soaring. I, for one, prefer the reasoned “control” by public health officials her than the anarchy south of the border.

  2. Rob #2 says:

    I was just reading this story and I noted that there have been no new cases reported since May 18 in this region, almost two months ago.

    Yet all of a sudden out of a clear blue sky comes a mask mandate.

    If we haven’t had any new cases in the region in two months then what will it take to actually end the mask mandate?

    Well we are going to be wearing these things indefinitely, pending the arrival of a hyped-up vaccine that may or may not be just around the corner, may or may not be effective and will definitely be a challenge to get everyone vaccinated and have some way of monitoring who did, and what that will mean to their “freedom”. I shudder at what that will look like.

    Fear, uncertainty, hard to understand (and very likely incomplete and poorly understood) statistics have all been poured into the social media blender in the last two weeks and out pops mask mandates all over the place, even in a region that hasn’t had a new case reported (as in the article above) for two months.

    At some point we went from “flattening the curve” to now trying to have zero new cases. In a world where people move around, and mix and mingle a lot it is inevitable that viruses circulate. It is a cost and risk of being alive and conducting commerce.

    As far as I’m concerned this is as much about control as it is public health. And when we do still manage to see cases appear here and throughout the Province what is the next thing to do? Well it will be to shut down everything again. We’re being set up for that. New cases, oh no, the masks aren’t enough. Shut it down. A fine approach when you’re 70 years old, with a defined benefit pension and your house and vehicles paid for. What about all those with less rosy and secure positions in life? Do you fault them for wanting to take more of a risk in the name of protecting their livelihood? Are some people going to call them murderers?

    Obviously I will comply, but it will be under duress. I’m not buying a lot of this. This level of Government intervention deserves more questioning than it has received.

    I will go to my grave believing that this whole thing is being manipulated with the aim of upsetting the American economy, creating unrest and uncertainty in advance of their election this fall. The rest of the world is getting dragged along for the ride.

    Ten years ago we never could have imagined some of the things we’ve seen this year, and I dread what another ten will bring.

  3. John Thompson says:

    Dr. Caturay’s instruction was limited to indoor commercial spaces due to the legal constraints but she did NOT note that this mandate would be sufficient for this stage of the pandemic. She also noted that Council could expand the scope of face covering requirements and they were wise to do that in my view.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    LONG overdue!!

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    Well done PEC Council! A positive step against the pandemic.

  6. Clare Smith says:

    It is mandatory for us to wear a mask when we go to work for a 9 hr shift to protect ourselves and others,I don’t think that it would kill people to wear a mask up to a half hour per say, in a store or in public to protect their selves and other’s. The mask doesn’t kill you the virus does.

  7. Lisa Williams says:

    Considering most of the tourists/summer residents have to wear masks in their hometown. Why should ours be any different? Especially with so many people coming in from all different areas you would think protecting our community would be the number one priority.
    A paper mask cost approx $1.25 each. Why not just charge cost for the mask?

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