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Brantford, Ont., puts mandatory mask bylaw to council on Tuesday, July 14

Brantford's head of the emergency operations centre has added a draft bylaw tied to mandatory masks to council's agenda set for July 14, 2020.
Brantford's head of the emergency operations centre has added a draft bylaw tied to mandatory masks to council's agenda set for July 14, 2020. Don Mitchell /Global News

Brantford, Ont. will consider a mandatory face-covering bylaw as the city’s emergency operations centre (EOC) commander on Friday put a report with a draft on the agenda for the city’s next council meeting.

Brian Hutchings then proceeded to endorse the proposed bylaw, saying the “safety and well-being of residents” is at stake as the province potentially moves to Stage 3 of its reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the successes that Canadians have had in containing the virus, COVID-19 remains a serious threat,” said Hutchings.

“That’s why the EOC is recommending that city council consider the proposed bylaw to make wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces mandatory, with some exceptions.”

Read more: Brantford, Ont., begins path towards mandatory masks, reports two retail COVID-19 cases

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The draft requires the wearing of face coverings in enclosed public places as per guidelines set out by the medical officer of health for Ontario, Public Health Canada and the World Health Organization.

The exceptions include children under the age of two, kids from three to five who can’t be persuaded by a caregiver to wear a mask, anyone who can’t use a mask without assistance, those with medical conditions that inhibit their ability to wear a face-covering, workers behind physical barriers or in non-public areas, and first-responders acting in the course of their duties.

The proposed bylaw will be deliberated at a special virtual city council meeting on Tuesday, July 14, at 6 p.m.

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On Tuesday, Brant County’s medical officer of health said the region’s health unit is “strongly considering” a recommendation for nearby municipalities to consider mandatory face coverings in public spaces.

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Read more: Hamilton board of health approves bylaw making masks mandatory in indoor public spaces

During a pandemic update on Friday, Urbantke reaffirmed her position, saying the health unit is working with community and municipal partners to ensure vulnerable populations are not further impacted.

“It’s not all the time. It’s when you’re in enclosed indoor public spaces where it’s very hard to public physical distance wearing it for that period of time,” Urbantke said.

“If it can even prevent one spread of one case isn’t it worth it?”

Walmart employee tests positive for COVID-19 in Brantford

Brant County’s Health Unit (BCHU) is investigating another COVID-19 case at a Walmart location on King George Road in Brantford.

The test result was revealed on Thursday and involved a single employee who last worked at the retailer on July 5.

Public health says the risk of exposure to the public is low and that the employee spent minimal time interacting with customers or other employees.

The worker was reportedly wearing a mask and gloves while on duty that day.

The region’s medical officer is recommending that anyone who may be experiencing symptoms associated with the case should reach out to Brant Community Healthcare System to arrange for testing.

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The test is the third reported case at a retail outlet in the county. On Tuesday, the BCHU revealed cases linked to the Lowe’s in Brantford and the LCBO in Burford.

Brant County reports one new COVID-19 case

Brant County’s health unit (BCHU) reported one new COVID-19 cases on Friday. The region has 125 total confirmed cases as of July 10.

The county still has four deaths, with 119 total resolved cases. There is just a single COVID-19 patient currently in hospital.

 

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