As local businesses start to reopen and more residents start to use public transit to get to work, the TTC says it’s “strongly” recommending all riders should wear non-medical face masks while onboard.
This news comes as Premier Doug Ford announced the first phase of reopening the province’s economy would begin this week, which granted more retail stores and businesses permission to reopen. In turn, the TTC says more residents will be relying on public transit to get to and from work and moving forward, riders should wear a face mask to help stop the spread of the contagious novel coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Canada’s public health experts announced they are now fully recommending that Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren’t sure they will be able to keep their distance from others.
Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer for Canada, said Wednesday the recommendation comes as stay-at-home orders begin to lift in different provinces and more people are going outside, taking public transit, or visiting stores and local businesses.
“This will help us reopen and add another layer to how you go out safely,” Tam said Wednesday in her daily COVID briefing.
2/2 However, non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not appropriate for everyone, such as young children < age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask on their own. More info: https://t.co/a96yJ8KMkh
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) May 21, 2020
Tam says that face coverings should fit well and be worn safely and added that non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not appropriate for everyone, such as young children under the age of two or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask on their own.
As businesses begin to reopen across our city and more people are using transit to get to work, the #TTC is strongly recommending that all riders wear face coverings while using public transit. This is one way that we can all do our part to help stop the spread of #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/ZSDZzK5k64
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 21, 2020
The City of Toronto says a good cloth mask or face covering should:
- Allow for easy breathing
- Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- Maintain their shape after washing and drying
- Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty, and cleaned after each use
- Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
- Be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
- Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
However, public health experts say that wearing a face mask does not replace other safety measures like staying home and away from others if you are ill; washing your hands frequently; covering your cough with tissues or your sleeve; practising physical distancing; cleaning and disinfecting your surfaces and objects, and protecting those most at risk from the virus.
Just keep in mind, face coverings are not mandatory at this time but they are now being strongly recommended.