Board of Health to debate mandatory masking in Hamilton this week


Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced Tuesday (July 6) that a report on mandatory face coverings in public will be in front of the city's Board of Health later this week.

During an emergency council meeting Tuesday morning, Eisenberger said that the Public Health Service's report that recommends a mandatory mask bylaw is "complete and on its way" to Friday's Board meeting.

The bylaw will apply to indoor public spaces in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

The news comes as some Ontario cities have made masking mandatory. Toronto and Ottawa's mandatory face-covering orders came into effect early Tuesday morning.

In Mississauga, the issue is up for debate at the City's council meeting on Wednesday (July 8).

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ontario started in March, the issue of wearing masks has been hotly debated.

In the beginning, many felt it did little to prevent the spread of the virus but a few weeks later, experts were increasingly touting their effectiveness in protecting against the spread.

Now, with the world returning to some form of normalcy, mask-wearing is becoming more commonplace.

Most Ontario public transit systems require their ridership to wear a mask when accessing the service -- the HSR is one such system.

Starting June 22, masks became mandatory on Hamilton buses.

The HSR has even launched a temporary program this week to distribute medical masks to people who need them.

Under Ontario's current face-covering guidelines, face coverings should not be placed on or used by:

  • children under the age of two
  • anyone who has trouble breathing
  • anyone who is unconscious incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

Hamilton's Board of Health meets virtually this Friday (July 10) at 9:30 a.m.

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