- July 6, 2020 Instructions from Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health:
- Effective 12:01 a.m. July 10, 2020, all commercial establishments currently operating during Stage 2 within Durham Region will include the following:
A Person shall be exempt from wearing a non-medical mask or face covering on the premises if:
- a. The Person is a child under the age of two years; or a child under the age of 5 years either chronologically or developmentally and he or she refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
- b. The Person is incapacitated and unable to remove their mask without assistance;
- c. The wearing a non-medical mask or face covering would inhibit the Person’s ability to breathe in any way;
- d. For any other medical reason, the Person cannot safely wear a nonmedical mask or face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
- e. For any religious reason, the Person cannot wear a nonmedical mask or face covering, or cannot cover the face in a manner that would properly control the source.
2. The policy should be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and should be used as an opportunity to educate about the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in premises where physical distancing may be difficult.
3. Post appropriate visible signage indicating that non-medical masks or face coverings are required inside the premises. Sample signage can be found on the Durham Region Community Reopening Toolkit: https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/community-reopeningtoolkit.aspx.
4. Ensure all employees are aware of the policy and are trained on your establishment’s expectations. While the science on the use of non-medical masks or face coverings by the general public is not definitive, there is a growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of these masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To further reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in your establishment and within the broader community, it is important to adhere to the above listed public health instructions.
The Durham Region Health Department will be taking a progressive enforcement approach to ensure compliance, with a focus on education. As per the EMCPA, those who do not comply with the above noted requirements may be liable for a fine of $750 - $1,000 for an individual, to a maximum of $100,000 or in the case of a corporation, not more than $10,000,000 for each day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues. Should you require additional information, please contact Durham Region Health Department at (905) 668-2020 (toll-free 1-800-841-2729). Visit durham.ca/novelcoronavirus for additional information and resources.