Kingstonians react to Ontario’s decision to lift mask mandates

Click to play video: 'Ontario to lift mandatory masking for most settings on March 21'
Ontario to lift mandatory masking for most settings on March 21
WATCH: Starting Monday, March 21 masks will no longer be required in social settings like gyms and restaurants and even schools. They will still be required in high-risk settings like hospitals, long-term care homes, shelters, jails and public transit until April 27. Marianne Dimain reports – Mar 9, 2022

Kingstonians have been wearing masks since June of 2020. The region was the first in Ontario to make face coverings mandatory in indoor public places, even before provincial mandates took effect.

Will people in the Limestone City be quick to shed their face coverings, which have become such a part of our daily lives?

Jared Goodman lives in Kingston and is excited about the change.

“I don’t want to say that we’re in the endgame but I think it’s a big step in realizing normalcy, which is really exciting,” he said.

However, one Kingston teacher told Global News that she’s concerned about the mask mandate being dropped, saying that students returning to the classroom after March Break have been travelling and with family and friends and could expose one another to COVID-19 and other sicknesses.

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The Ontario Students for COVID Safety group agrees, taking to social media to announce they’re organizing a province wide student walkout on the 21st, saying, “Removing mask mandates after March Break made it clear student needs are not being prioritized.”

Dr. Gerald Evans, an attending physician in Infectious Diseases at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, thinks the province may be moving too fast.

“We’re moving on quickly at a time when I think we should be moving along a little less quickly just to kind of watch what all these effects have in terms of numbers,” said Dr. Evans.

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In his address to the media last week, the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, says public health will be closely monitoring data, including wastewater samples, to monitor the impact of lifted restrictions.

Click to play video: 'Ontario lays out spring pandemic plans, with discontinued masking requirements'
Ontario lays out spring pandemic plans, with discontinued masking requirements

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