Face Coverings Required In All Indoor Public Spaces In Simcoe Muskoka


As of Monday July 13, 2020, the public is required to wear a face covering (i.e. non-medical mask) when entering the indoor premises of businesses, organizations and on public transit systems in Simcoe Muskoka. This will be achieved through instructions to businesses and organizations to have a policy in place requiring this. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is issuing these instructions under the authority of the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) in an effort to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

As we move through the stages of the reopening of the economy there is an increased risk of resurgence of COVID-19 transmission in our communities. Locally we are seeing more visitors from other parts of the province with a much higher incidence of COVID-19, resulting in crowding in public spaces, and this has us concerned,said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHUs medical officer of health.

There is emerging evidence that suggests the spread of COVID-19 can be reduced with a high level of compliance of non-medical mask use by the public. As well, we have a great deal of support for the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces from municipalities, physicians and hospitals, and other community partners

The health unit has prepared instructions for businesses and organizations under the EMCPA, with the expectation that they use their best efforts requiring the public to wear face coverings, including the use of signs and verbal reminders. There is no requirement, however, that a business turn away a customer who is not wearing a face covering. In addition, there are certain exemptions including age, religious practices and medical circumstances.

A face covering means a medical or non-medical mask or other face coverings such as a bandana, a scarf or cloth that covers the mouth and nose.

Our businesses and organizations that are open to the public have worked diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and many already ask that patrons and clients wear a face covering,said Dr. Gardner. Requiring the public to wear a face covering is an extra step to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and is key for the continued successful reopening of the local economy and to safeguard our residents against the virus in circulation now, into the fall and beyond

For more information about COVID-19, including frequently asked questions and signage for businesses, see www.smdhu.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.


  1. So, if I understand correctly….If you want to wear one, then wear one. If you don’t want to wear one, don’t. If you’re young, old, have a faith, or have an excuse….you are exempt. There will be fines for not wearing (but there may not be).
    Thanks for clearing it up lol.

    • this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Doug Ford said and still stands with not making it law in Ontario. Now area’s are doing it themselves, not asking the public what they want. Absolutely against our human rights in Canada. The moment the government takes your choices the control the people instead of the people controlling their government

  2. So let me get this straight… In a Provence with 14,600,000 people, with today having 112 “tested positive” with covid-19, numbers are decreasing by the day, we’ve been at this for over 4 months… And NOW you want us to wear masks? BLOODY NO. Basically no one has it anymore. For Peet’s sake my chances are higher getting hit by a car.

    • Not wearing a mask advertises to others you don’t care if they get your germs.
      Yes, mandatory masks is way too late. Better late than never, better early than late.
      Other countries have seen a resurgence after getting it under control.
      You will bet your life it won’t happen here? And the lives of others around you?

  3. Health care knew masks and other PPE prevent the spread even though they have to work very closely with Covid patients.
    Many countries also made masks mandatory and other protocols after their SARS experience so they were ready for the next pandemic. They did not need an extremely expensive lockdown at all.
    Canada, and in particular Ontario and Quebec were not ready.
    Why not?
    In many countries Covid had very little effect.
    This all could/should have been avoided.
    It probably would have only taken a measly 100 million to have Canada ready for the next pandemic after SARS like many countries.
    Instead of 250+ billion that will take many, many years to pay off, many thousands of lives lost and millions of jobs lost.
    What is Ford’s problem?
    Even in the disastrous US, 31 states have made masks mandatory.
    Including Texas and some counties in Florida.
    In other states that mandated them earlier they are seeing a dramatic drop in cases and deaths.
    85% of Americans are all for masks. Do 85% of Americans agree on any other topic?
    Way too late for many, better late than never, better early than late.
    Like beginning of Feb.
    What is Ford’s problem? We need to stop a second wave.

  4. Unfortunately Jim, once again the government has downloaded the responsibility to the little guy. Store owners are left in a tight spot… regardless of their personal feelings on the subject.

    Most know they are going to get negative feedback no matter what they do. Some employees may not want to wear them while others do. Some customers may feel nervous about not wearing one while some may be enraged.
    The store owners have been left in a bad spot, once again.


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