Sudbury

Sudbury health unit requires businesses to ramp up mask policies

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is requiring commercial businesses to ramp up efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including having policies in place to prevent people from entering if they are not wearing a mask.

Businesses will not be required to turn customers away who won't wear a mask

The health unit in Sudbury wants businesses to have policies in place to stop people from entering if they're not wearing a mask. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is requiring commercial businesses to ramp up efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including having policies in place to prevent people from entering if they are not wearing a mask.

The policy goes into place on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. It applies to businesses and public transit systems in the health unit's area.

The health unit says businesses will be expected to use "their best efforts to implement their face covering policies," but adds there is "not a requirement that a business must turn away the customer." It says the approach is in line with the "good faith enforcement" where the health unit focuses on "education and reminders."

It says the policy is being issued under the authority of the province's emergency management and civil protection act.

"Face coverings are extra protection to prevent COVID-19 spread [and] they also send a message that the wearer wants to protect others," Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health for the health unit said.

"As we successfully reopen across the province, we also increase the risk of spreading the virus. Establishing common expectations about routine face covering helps reduce this risk now and will pave the way to successful Stage 3 reopening. It will also help protect users against a potential second wave in the fall and keep businesses up and running."

The health unit says a face covering includes a medical or non-medical mark or other fabric such as a bandana, a scarf or cloth that covers the mouth and nose.

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