Masks will be mandatory indoors in public from August 24 in NL

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Non-medical masks will be mandatory for people living in indoor public spaces in Newfoundland and Labrador starting August 24. The new rule applies to people aged five and over.This special order means people will have to wear masks in stores, places of worship, when using public transit, in a theater or performing arts hall, and in common areas of office buildings.

Non-medical masks help protect against the spread of COVID-19, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said on Monday in a video on the provincial government website, showing children how to safely put on their masks. security.

Further details, including exemptions, are expected to be released later Monday on the provincial government’s COVID-19 website, Fitzgerald said.

“Mandatory use of non-medical masks is another important step to further protect our families and communities, because when worn correctly, they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Fitzgerald said.

“Please remember, however, that wearing a non-medical mask in the community is not a substitute for physical distancing and proper hand washing. ”

Fitzgerald made the announcement on Monday, in addition to posting details of the back-to-school plan for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.

Masks should be worn by people in indoor public places and on school buses. The leader of a group that represents several private school bus operators had previously said non-medical masks should be mandatory on buses when children board in September.

The wearing of masks will not be compulsory in the classrooms when the pupils return in the fall; rather, it will be a personal choice for the students and their parents or guardians.

However, masks will be needed in common areas of schools – such as hallways, washrooms and entrances – for high school students and staff and for lower secondary school students.

Previously, Fitzgerald and public health officials had encouraged people to wear masks in public spaces, as well as to practice physical distancing, but they were not mandatory until Monday’s announcement.

No new cases

Also on Monday, Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19.

It has been a week without detecting any additional cases of the virus.

There are two active cases in the eastern health region of the province: a man and a woman, both aged 20 to 39 years.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the province remains at 268. So far, 263 people have recovered from the virus, and there have been three deaths.

A total of 28,668 people have been tested for COVID-19 – an additional 81 since Sunday.

While Monday marks seven consecutive days without a new case, it’s also important as it marks the unveiling of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District’s back-to-school plan for thousands of K-12 students.

You can find full details and coverage on this plan here.

The latest COVID-19 issues were released via email from the provincial government on Monday.

Fitzgerald was at the release of the back-to-school plan and at Monday’s virtual press conference.

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