On August 17, a mandatory mask policy will go into effect for the region covered by the Northwestern Health Unit. The mask policy will see masks required in all public, enclosed areas. Businesses will be required to create a mask policy in compliance with the instructions. According to Dr Kit Young-Hoon, Medical Officer of Health for the NWHU, a number of exemptions are being considered for the policy.
The following individuals will likely be exempt from the mask policy:
- Children under the age of two
- Individuals who are chronologically or developmentally under the age of five, who refuse to wear a mask.
- Those with medical conditions which make it unsafe to wear a mask, including respiratory issues, mental health, cognitive or physical difficulties.
- Individuals with a disability who require assistance to apply or remove the covering without assistance.
- Religious or cultural reasons
Employees who work in a business not open to the public, or in which employees are separated from the public with physical barriers, are also exempt
The policy does not apply to school, daycares, healthcare service setting or day camps. Each of those have their own directives from the province to follow.
Masks may be removed temporarily for certain activities. These include: Eating, sporting activities, such as swimming, having services to face, or emergency and medical situations.