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Ottawa Public Health recommending masks at large outdoor gatherings like Bluesfest

Masks are no longer mandatory in most public places across Ontario, but Ottawa Public Health is reiterating its recommendation to continue using layers of protection, specifically mentioning Bluesfest even though it takes place outdoors.

Live music and large crowds are a welcomed scene for many festivalgoers in the capital this summer.

But it all comes as Ottawa Public Health is warning of a new COVID-19 wave. The public health unit took to social media to recommend mask use at outdoor public gatherings.

“If you are attending a summer event or festival this weekend (#RBCBluesfest2022) please, use your layers of protection," the social media post read.

Some Bluesfest attendees are wearing masks, but many are not, and some health experts say outdoors is still much better than indoors.

"There is a risk, but I think we have to put things into perspective as well, and primarily this is an indoor transmitted virus," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases specialist.

While wastewater signals show increasing levels of COVID-19 in the community, and a new variant is bringing some new concerns, Bogoch said this wave should not be like others.

"This isn't 2020, it's not 2021, we're in a vastly different situation, we have built up some significant community protection and that will serve us well, and that will certainly lessen the impact of this wave," he said.

Even then – Ottawa Public Health insists now is a time to be cautious, reminding people to monitor for symptoms and self isolate if you feel sick. Top Stories


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