Masks mandatory indoors until end of April: Council asked to extend Ottawa’s mask bylaw three more months

OTTAWA — Face masks could be mandatory in Ottawa’s enclosed public spaces and on public transit until at least the end of April.

Councillors Matthew Luloff and Keith Egli will introduce a motion at Wednesday’s Council meeting to extend Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw for three months.  Egli tells CTV News Ottawa the motion will recommend extending the mandatory mask bylaw until April 29.

In October, Council voted to extend the bylaw until Jan. 2021, with staff saying it may be extended further based on the status of the pandemic. The city has said Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw will be reviewed every two months or so during the pandemic.

The motion to extend the mandatory mask bylaw comes as Ottawa and southern Ontario remain under a stay-at-home order for at least 28 days in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Ontario declared a second provincial emergency and issued the stay-at-home order on Jan. 14 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Since Jan. 1, Ottawa Public Health has reported 2,802 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, along with 27 deaths linked to the virus.

In July, Council passed the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, one week after Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches issued an order for masks to be worn in public places. The city’s mask bylaw requires people wear masks in all enclosed public spaces, including indoor public areas of recreational facilities, shopping malls, retail stores, restaurants and cafes.

The mask bylaw also applies to public transit property, including buses, the O-Train, stations, shelters, platforms and Para Transpo.

In August, Council voted to extend the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw to common areas in apartment and condominium buildings, including lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms.

WEAR MASKS OUTSIDE

On Jan. 6, Dr. Etches recommended you wear a mask when outside of your home as much as possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“You don’t need me to tell you to wear a mask; you should always wear a mask as much as you can when you’re outside your home.”

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