Brantford, Ontario, paves way for mandatory masks, reports two COVID-19 cases at retail – Hamilton


The Brant County medical officer of health said the region’s health unit “strongly envisages” a recommendation for neighboring municipalities to consider mandatory face covers in public spaces.In an update on the regional pandemic on Tuesday, Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke said that a final decision would be made Wednesday morning at a meeting of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) advisory committee.

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Urbantke said discussions started a few weeks ago in the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) after observing that neighboring communities were starting to apply their own mandatory face orders and prescriptions.

“We started discussing it a week to two weeks ago,” said Urbantke. “This is the next step in a similar direction, but certainly, seeing the others going in this direction, we always thought about it. ”

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Like the drafts developed by other Ontario municipal councils, the Brant County version will also include exemptions for children under the age of two, people with an underlying medical condition that prevents their ability to wear a mask, a person unable to put on or remove a face cover without assistance or employees and agents in non-public spaces or behind physical barriers.

If the committee decides to act on the recommendation, city councils could then begin to draft by-laws for ratification votes in the county.

Mandatory face masks are now mandatory in several Ontario municipalities since Tuesday. Much of eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, went online Tuesday through regulations adopted by his council a week ago. Toronto, Peel, Guelph and Kingston are other regions that now require masks in most closed spaces.

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“This is another tool in our toolbox to help protect our community and protect others,” said Urbantke.

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Meanwhile, two people working for two different large retailers in Brant County have been positive for COVID-19, according to Urbantke.

One is an employee of the Lowe’s store in Brantford, 215 Henry Street, who notified the managers of the positive test on Sunday. The employee last worked on June 30 and 14 employees have been identified as “close contacts” and are asymptomatic and self-insulating.

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“The nature of this employee’s duties did not require them to interact directly with clients in a manner that would be considered high risk,” said Urbantke. “Anyone who has visited Lowe’s Brantford store between June 23 and June 30 is encouraged to watch for symptoms until July 14.”

BCHU says an employee at the LCBO store in Burford southwest of Brantford also tested positive for coronavirus and last worked at the store on July 4.

The health unit recommends that anyone who has recently visited the site and who is afraid of being exposed contact the Brant community health system to arrange the test.

BCHU reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The region has 124 cases confirmed as of July 7.

The county still has four deaths, with 118 cases resolved in total. There are currently two COVID-19 patients in county hospitals.

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There are no institutional outbreaks.

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