Masks will be still required at Lambton’s health care providers

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If you need any kind of medical attention in Lambton County, chances are you’re still going to have to wear a face mask.

The Ontario government is lifting its mask mandate Monday. It was first put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in June 2020. That means it will be a personal choice to wear a mask into retail and grocery stores, restaurants and bars and publicly funded schools.

But the province did keep the mandates in place in high risk settings including long term care and public transit.

Health care providers in Lambton County say people using their services will also have to wear a mask. Steve Pancino, Sarnia-Lambton Ontario Health Team Executive Lead says in a news release that doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics and services and community health centres will continue to require masks in their settings.

“Primary care providers care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and as health care providers we have an obligation to keep these patients and our staff as safe as possible,” he said.

And Bluewater Health says it will continue to take precautions against the virus including requiring anyone entering the hospital to wear a mask and be screened for symptoms, maintain physical distancing, sanitize their hands and visitors will have to provide proof of vaccination, except those in the emergency department.

At the emergency department, one support person may accompany the patient, and may stay in a waiting room or visitors lounge.

“We will be closely monitoring community cases and hospital admissions on an on-going basis,” say hospital officials in a news release. “As we see the impact of lifting measures locally in coming weeks, we can then better assess the next steps at Bluewater Health.

“The community can expect hospitals to continue observing health and safety measures, including masking, for some time, as the health and safety of patients and staff at Bluewater Health remains a top priority.”