October 3 Provincial Regulations Replace Local Face Covering Directive

Written by Communications, October 14, 2020

Peterborough Public Health Rescinds Local Directive

With the new provincial regulations coming into effect October 3 requiring the use of masks in all indoor areas, Peterborough Public Health has rescinded its local Mandatory Face Covering Directive.

“My team and I have reviewed the provincial amendments and they are equivalent or stronger to the requirements of the Mandatory Face Covering Directive Peterborough Public Health issued on August 1,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “As a result, we have rescinded this directive, and all establishments are advised to comply with the masking requirements that are outlined in the provincial legislation.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that O. Reg. 364/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 3 includes language mandating the use of masks or face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces.  The mandatory use of masks applies to all persons in the indoor space, including staff, patrons and visitors. All indoor spaces are now included, such as (but not limited to): common spaces of multi-unit dwellings (e.g. apartments, condominiums), places of worship, commercial establishments, transit vehicles (private and public) and offices.

Dr. Salvaterra also pointed out one significant change is that a physical barrier alone may not provide the exception for a face covering. Exempted staff must also be in an area that is not accessible to the public and two metres must be maintained between all persons at all times. “As a result, many service counter staff will now be required to wear a face covering, regardless of whether a physical barrier is present. This will also be the case in retail establishments, food premises and grocery stores,” she explained.

Locally, these requirements will be enforced by Peterborough Police, OPP and Public Health Inspectors as part of the overall enforcement of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. Failure to comply with the requirements of a continued emergency order can result in a set fine of $750.00.

In addition to provincial mandatory masking requirements, workplaces are also now required to actively screen all employees and essential visitors for COVID-19 symptoms. There is a COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces that provides a minimum set of questions for workplaces to use. When individuals fail the screening, they must not be permitted entry to the workplace. They are encouraged to complete the online self-assessment tool and follow the recommendations.

Peterborough Public Health’s website has been updated to reflect these changes both with information for the public and information for owners/operators/employers for businesses and organizations.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391