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COVID-19: Waterloo Region mask bylaw to remain in place indefinitely

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Waterloo Regional Council voted to extend the face covering and code-of-use bylaws (and amendment bylaws) for an indefinite period on Wednesday night.

Initially, a staff report went before council which recommended that the current face-covering and code-of-use bylaws, which are slated to expire at the end of May, be extended until the end of the year.

Read more: COVID-19: Guelph, Waterloo Region hospitals working on plan to resume surgeries

That was adjusted to the rules remaining in place until the province lifts the requirements.

The bylaw was first put in place last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold across Canada.

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The report notes that several of the initial criteria for the mask bylaw have not been met.

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One of those criteria was an improvement in the state of the COVID-19 situation, not only locally but also provincially and globally.

Other criteria included advice from public health officials regarding the wearing of face coverings or change in evidence on the wearing of masks as well as the availability of an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.

Read more: Over 11,000 COVID vaccinations have been given in Waterloo Region in past 2 days

“Vaccine supply, initially limited, will continue to increase and the final phase, in which supply will be sufficient for most of the general population to receive a first as well as a second dose (as applicable), will take place between July and December 2021,” the report said.

It also noted that public complaints and enforcement levels have dropped, which suggests a “growing public familiarity of, and receptivity to the By-Laws.”

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