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Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health, says it is about protecting people from the new coronavirus.
“The use of a mask is important to protect others from people infected with the COVID-19 virus,” she said in a telephone interview. “It turns out that we are a health unit that still has evidence of continued transmission of the virus.”
Nine new cases of the new coronavirus were reported in Guelph between Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total to 159 cases.
Guelph saw nine people die during the pandemic and 113 cases are considered cured. Of the 37 active cases, five people are hospitalized.
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Mercer said that up to 40 percent of people are asymptomatic when in the community and that some of them still go out with mild symptoms.
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“People don’t know they have it,” she said. “A lot of people we get positive results from and we talk to them about, they have no idea where they got it. ”
Under the prescription, children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering or other person if it inhibits their ability to breathe or for any other medical reason.
Outdoor patios, which are allowed to open on Friday as part of Stage 2, are also exempt.
Public health has said that a face covering means a medical mask or a non-medical mask such as a bandanna, scarf or cloth that covers the nose, mouth and chin.
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Mercer said it could not provide a response for how long the order would be in effect, but it could be in effect for a while.
“As long as we have no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in our community or minimal evidence of COVID-19 transmission, we have an available vaccine or an effective treatment – these are all good reasons for us to cancel the order, “she said.
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In addition to ensuring that people wear face covers, all businesses must also ensure the availability of hand sanitizer at all entrances and exits. Businesses that fail to comply with these orders could be fined $ 5,000.
The City of Guelph has stated that anyone concerned about a business that does not comply with the order can contact their bylaws office.
More information about the order is available on the Public Health website.
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