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Masks to be made officially mandatory

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North Bay residents are now mandated to use face coverings while in certain enclosed public spaces and public transit.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (NBPSDHU) made the decision after talks with other northern health units last week. The directive, which falls under the province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, goes into effect on Friday, July 24.

“Our communities have been following public health recommendations for COVID-19, helping to keep the number of cases in our district low,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “The recommendations we’ve had in place have been effective during Stages 1 and 2 of phase 2, however, as we enter into Stage 3 more businesses are opening and social gatherings are growing, resulting in the need to change our public health measures for COVID-19. We have to adapt to the current climate.”

Details regarding the mandate, including information for businesses, the community, exemptions, and frequently asked questions, will be shared publically on Friday, Jul. 17, 2020. This allows businesses a week to prepare for the face-covering mandate.

The NBPDHU wants to remind the community that a face-covering does not replace physical distancing and other protective health measures such as hand washing, and isolating yourself when you have symptoms or have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19.

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