Toronto makes face masks mandatory in apartments and condo buildings

Jul 29 2020, 1:39 pm

Masks or face coverings will soon be mandatory in all common areas in condos or apartment buildings ahead of Toronto’s move into Stage 3 of reopening.

Toronto City Council passed a temporary bylaw on Wednesday mandating the use of masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“The strengthened safety measure responds to concerns that the opportunity for more close contact, especially in indoor settings, will result in more virus spread,” says a release from the City.

Building owners or operators are required to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in the enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and to post corresponding signage in the building.

“This measure for masks and face coverings in common areas in apartments and condos was strongly recommended by our public health professionals. Many buildings have already done this voluntarily but we have heard from tenants and condo dwellers asking for this measure to be mandated,” said Mayor John Tory.

“I encourage all buildings to adopt a face covering policy for common areas as quickly as possible to help us continue to protect the health of our residents and fight this pandemic.”

The bylaw comes into effect on Wednesday, August 5.

Stricter regulations have also been put in place for restaurants and bars ahead of Stage 3.

Like the City’s existing mask or face covering in indoor public spaces bylaw, the recommendation includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.

Toronto Public Health has created guidance documents for commercial and residential buildings,  and signage by the City of Toronto is available online.

According to Toronto Public Health, “a growing body of scientific evidence suggests the use of masks and face coverings is an inexpensive, acceptable and non-invasive measure to help control the spread of the virus.”

“COVID-19 is spread through contact with the respiratory droplets produced by someone who is infected when they cough, sneeze, or even when they laugh or speak, including by individuals who may not have symptoms – known as being asymptomatic.”

 

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