Face coverings (COVID-19)

Medical masks, including surgical masks and N95 respirators, are in short supply and need to be kept for health-care settings.

Public health agencies recommend that you wear a non-medical mask (for example, a homemade cloth mask) or face covering to protect others when physical distancing is not possible or difficult to predict—even if you have no symptoms of COVID-19. A non-medical mask or face covering protects other people from your germs. oms of COVID-19. A non-medical mask or face covering protects other people from your germs.  The goal is to ensure the best protection possible.

Exemptions to wearing a face covering are in effect for multiple reasons, such as medical conditions and age. No proof is required for exemptions. For more information about face coverings and exemptions read our frequently asked questions.

Face coverings and Public Health Sudbury & Districts instructions

Currently in effect: All persons responsible for a business or an organization that is currently open in the area served by PHSD must have a policy in place to ensure that no one is permitted to enter or remain in an enclosed public space (public indoor spaces) unless they are wearing a face covering. This includes public transit. They must also have a policy in place for enclosed employee spaces to ensure physical distancing or face coverings, where physical distancing is not possible, among other responsibilities. Learn more about these instructions in our letter to employers (322 KB, PDF).

What does a non-medical mask or face covering do?

A mask or face covering acts as a barrier. It reduces the chance of spreading respiratory droplets to others and prevents droplets from landing on surfaces when you cough or sneeze.

Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in public or other settings helps stop the spread of COVID-19 in addition to handwashing, physical distancing, and limiting non-essential travel.

When to wear a non-medical mask or face covering

In Ontario, you must use a face covering (Government of Ontario) in enclosed public spaces (public indoor spaces) and whenever physical distancing is a challenge.  All customers, clients, and visitors entering enclosed public spaces in Sudbury and districts must wear a face covering unless they have an exemption. This includes individuals entering:

Learn more about how these instructions ramp up efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How to use a non-medical mask or face covering safely

Face coverings, non-medical and cloth masks have limits and you need to use them safely.

Your mask should:

This visual shows a person properly wearing a homemade cloth mask. Two elastics are attached to both ends of the mask that can be looped over the ears to keep it in place. Make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth completely.

This visual shows the side profile a person properly wearing a homemade cloth mask. An elastic is attached at the end of the mask and is looped around the ear. The mask covers the nose and mouth completely.

Using your mask or face covering

To use your mask you must:

Do not place a mask on:

Removing your mask or face covering

Masks can become contaminated on the outside or when touched by hands.

To remove your mask safely you must:

Step 1: Be very careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your mask.

Step 2: Wash your hands immediately after you remove it.

Step 3: Place your used mask directly into the washing machine.

Step 4: Wash your mask with other items using a hot cycle, and then dry it thoroughly. If you can’t wash your mask, throw it in the garbage right away.

Learn more about preventing the spread of COVID-19, including how to wash cloth masks and safely dispose of non-medical masks on Canada.ca/coronavirus (Government of Canada).

How to wear a mask or face covering

Masks and face coverings need to be worn correctly. Watch this video to learn how to properly put on, take off, and clean your mask to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Guidance for caregivers and health care providers

Learn more about our specific instructions for caregivers and guidance for health care providers.

This item was last modified on October 23, 2020