Wearing masks continues to be strongly recommended as provincial COVID-19 requirements lessen

Public Health Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe continues to strongly recommend the use of masks in indoor public settings to protect against COVID-19 infection. This recommendation comes in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health that mask requirements in most settings will end on Monday, March 21, 2022.

“Despite recent promising trends in local COVID-19 metrics, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is still circulating widely and the risk of infection and risk to our health care system has not passed. This is why I am strongly recommending that people continue to wear masks when in indoor crowded spaces, and especially if they have higher personal health risks or if their close circle includes those who are vulnerable to severe infection,” said. Dr. Sutcliffe. “The pandemic is not over, and our area continues to have higher COVID rates compared with the province. With the provincial direction for the March 21 removal of masking mandates for most settings, along with the removal of screening and safety plan requirements for businesses, I am reminding people in our area that masking remains a simple and effective tool to protect yourself and those around you.”

Within the current regulation, Ontario Regulation 364/20, the authority to issue legally enforceable advice, recommendations and instructions is with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and no longer with local medical officers of health.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has rescinded its Section 22 Class Order (PDF) related to COVID-19 self-isolation, effective today. While positive COVID-19 cases in highest risk settings (e.g., hospitals, long-term care homes and retirement homes) continued to receive full case and contact management, cases outside high-risk settings have mainly been directed to and supported by updated Ministry of Health online resources to help them understand what they need to do by way of self-isolation and informing household and other close contacts. This important provincial guidance is available at www.ontario.ca/exposed.

For more information or if you have questions, please talk to trusted sources such as Public Health immunizers at COVID-19 vaccine clinics, health care providers, and pharmacists, visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on March 10, 2022