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Kingston, Ont. mandates face masks in public indoor spaces after nail salon outbreak
KINGSTON -- One day after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at a Kingston nail salon, the health unit has announced that face masks are now mandatory in all indoor public places.
Mayor Bryan Paterson announced Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore issued a public health order that will require a mask to be worn inside any indoor public setting.
"That means masks will be required for going into grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, hair and nail salons, as well as community centres, houses of worship, libraries and inside buses and taxis," said Paterson in a video posted to YouTube.
The mandatory face mask requirement comes after the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit linked 16 cases of COVID-19 to Binh's Nails and Spa salon.
The health unit is asking 500 customers who visited the salon between June 12 and June 24 to get tested for COVID-19, and self-isolate for 14 days.
The health unit says any failure to comply with the mandatory face mask requirement will result in a $5,000 a day fine for businesses.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:
- A child under the age of two
- A child under the age of 5 that refuses to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver
- Wearing a face mask would inhibit the person's ability to breathe in any way
- For any other medical reason, the person cannot safely wear a face covering such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties, or difficulties in hearing or processing information
Canada's chief public health officer and the Ontario government have strongly recommended people wear face masks when physical distancing is not possible.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti plans to introduce a motion next month to make masks mandatory in indoor spaces and in crowded outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible.
Premier Doug Ford told reporters on Friday that while he agrees with making masks mandatory, it would not be possible to enforce it.
Ford says Ontario does not have the "manpower for bylaw and police officers to be chasing people without masks," adding "I encourage everyone but we just can't enforce it, that’s the problem here."
With files from CTV News Toronto's Mariam Katawazi
The KFL&A Public Health Unit now says 16 cases of COVID-19 are linked to the salon, not 18 as reported Friday morning.