The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
Thu, 09 Jul 2020
At a Special Council Meeting last night, Oakville Town Council unanimously passed a motion requesting Halton Region to enact a region-wide temporary mandatory by-law requiring the use of non-medical face masks or coverings in enclosed public spaces. Council also directed town staff to prepare a temporary by-law for the Town of Oakville to implement if Halton Region fails to do so.
“There are a variety of views in our community on this matter. We have heard from a great many residents, businesses, and we thank you for your input. By following public health guidelines, Oakville and Halton residents have crushed the curve,” said Mayor Burton. ”We have seen many people wearing face coverings voluntarily, however, we are willing to support this action to provide an extra measure of protection in fighting this pandemic.”
Halton Region will consider a region wide by-law for the mandatory use of masks on July 15. The following day, Town Council will hold a Special Council Meeting to approve a proposed town by-law or determine if it is made redundant by Halton Region enacting a similar by-law. Council’s motion reflects direction to implement a proposed town by-law within seven days after its passage
The proposed town by-law, yet to be considered by Council, would be generally consistent with the City of Toronto Mandatory Mask or Face Covering By-law whereby individuals or organizations that are responsible for the operation of a facility, or businesses with enclosed (indoor) public-access spaces, be required to ensure no member of the public is permitted entry or remains on the premises unless wearing a mask or face covering.
Exceptions include, but are not limited to, persons under two years of age; individuals with underlying medical conditions inhibiting their ability to wear a mask or face covering; the temporary removal of a mask or face covering where necessary for the purpose of receiving services or while actively engaged in an athletic or fitness activity; and individuals who are unable to put on or remove a face mask without assistance. In addition, the by-law will include the provision that businesses not require employees or members of the public to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out in the by-law.
“I strongly encourage everyone to wear masks in public indoor settings and follow our public health guidelines. Facemasks are not a substitute for hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and practicing physical distancing. I encourage everyone to also follow my three Cs of COVID-caution: avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings,” added Mayor Burton.
Those wishing to submit feedback regarding the proposed town by-law can direct it, via email, to email@example.com, by noon, July 16, 2020.
For more information regarding non-medical masks, including how to properly wear, fit, remove, and clean your non-medical mask, visit the Halton Public Health website and the Government of Ontario website.
The Town of Oakville has a comprehensive recovery process in place that aligns with the Province’s gradual phased-in approach. Learn more about the town’s COVID-19 Recovery Program Framework.