Public health expands mandatory mask order due to rising cases of COVID-19

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The public health unit is expanding its mandatory mask order in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region.

The order requiring face coverings, first introduced on June 12 and revised on July 17, will now also apply to museums, churches, taxis and other private transportation services.

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) announced the update to her Section 22 Order on Sept. 15.

The expanded order comes into effect on Sept. 18.

“I am concerned by the increasing numbers in our region,” Mercer stated in a press release.

“We are seeing COVID-19 cases continue to rise at the same time as schools and campuses reopen.

“I am including additional establishments within the Section 22 Order to give us the best chance of reducing the spread of the virus.”

On Sept. 15 WDGPH was reporting one new coronavirus case in Dufferin County, five in Guelph and none in Wellington County.

There are still two active cases in Wellington County, three active cases in Dufferin and 15 active cases in Guelph.

Provincially, there were 251 new cases reported on Sept. 15 and four deaths. Most of the new cases are in Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York regions.

New additions to the WDGPH mandatory mask order include:

  • banquet halls, convention centres and other event spaces;
  • galleries and museums;
  • private transportation such as buses, taxis, limousines and ride sharing services; and
  • churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or other faith settings.

Businesses/services impacted by the original June order include:

  • retail stores;
  • convenience stores;
  • malls/plazas;
  • restaurants;
  • personal service settings;
  • grocery stores and bakeries;
  • gas stations;
  • farmer’s markets (indoors); and
  • areas of mechanic shops/garages/repair shops which are open to the public;
  • indoor play zones/arcades/art studios;
  • cinemas/performing arts/theatres;
  • indoor arenas/sporting venues as a spectator;
  • public indoor tours of facilities;
  • casinos/charitable gaming halls, including horse racing;
  • fitness facilities/gyms/indoor sports facilities/studios; and
  • common areas of hotels/motels.

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