Toronto makes masks mandatory, citing US problems (Update)

Toronto makes masks mandatory, citing US problems
Tara Donsky walks with her dog along Queen Street West during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada's largest city has made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces.

"You have told us you don't want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States," Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

Toronto city council approved a bylaw and it will come into effect July 7.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and noted many cities in the U.S. are seeing a resurgence in cases since reopening.

De Villa said she made the recommendation to help Toronto move from Stage 2 of the Ontario's reopening plan to Stage 3.

She said masks will help indoor spaces—most of which had been closed during the earlier stages of the pandemic—stay safe.

"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all of us to remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic,″ De Villa said during a news conference Tuesday.

The bylaw will be re-examined in September.

Tory said they must do everything they can do avoid the flare ups seen in other jurisdictions.


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