20 May 2020 – Recommendations on face coverings released

Type of Intervention: Guidance
Sectors Involved: Health
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health

Overview: The Ontario government’s Ministry of Health has released specific recommendations for appropriate face coverings to be used in public when physical distancing is not possible and has announced additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.The recommendations include how to choose and wear appropriate face coverings safely, the recommendation to reserve medical masks for use by healthcare workers, first responders, and individuals who are ill, and instructing who should not wear face coverings, such as children under two years old. Public transit-related measures include recommendations of how to enact physical distancing, use of face coverings, and implementation of engineering controls such as plexiglass windows between passengers and drivers and enhanced cleaning practices.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/as-ontario-reopens-people-urged-to-continue-following-basic-public-health-measures.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health
Evidence/Justification: The Ontario government developed these recommendations to help people adhere to public health advice offered by officials such as the Chief Medical Officer of Health. The Chief Medical Officer of Health is now recommending that individuals wear face coverings were physical distancing is not possible, e.g. in small spaces. The government explains that as the province enters Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province, more people will be returning to work, shops, and using public transit. They also explain that the public transit system is a critical part of reopening the province and supporting the economy, thus appropriate recommendations are required to operate safely and protect both passengers and workers. As outlined by the Framework for Reopening the Province, public health experts and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor key public health indicators at each stage of reopening, and will adjust measures accordingly.