Lambton County won’t mandate the use of masks

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County Councillors vote to ‘encourage’ use, say municipalities should have power to mandate mask use

Lambton County councillors say they won’t force residents wear a mask in indoor public places and businesses.

Municipalities across Ontario including Toronto, Ottawa and Guelph, have made it mandatory to wear masks in indoor public facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, told councillors Wednesday morning he doesn’t feel it is necessary at this time since most of the cases in Lambton are spread by close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

Many county councillors argued local municipalities, not the county should be making the decision. Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, who advocated for the mandatory use of masks, disagreed.

“Everything has been done so far (during the pandemic) has been on a regional level, that’s what public health is,” says Bradley.

Instead, councillors supported a motion encouraging people to use masks when indoors in public spaces where physical distancing can’t be achieved – a motion Bradley voted for but believed had little weight. “We’ve been telling everybody they can wear masks for months now.”

Ranade told councillors that while he doesn’t support the mandatory use of masks right now, his opinion could change if the conditions in the community change.