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Kingston Mayor issues new Emergency Order to address COVID-19 risks

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson has issued a new Emergency Order which will require residents to maintain physical distancing on sidewalks, streets and boulevards, and expands on an existing Order requiring the use of face masks in certain public and common areas.

The new Order aims to discourage congregating and loitering in the downtown area by restricting groups to be no larger than 10 people in specific areas of the city’s downtown area (see map below).

“Based on recommendations from the Medical Officer of Health, and after consultation with Kingston Police, it’s clear that additional measures are needed to better address the risk of COVID-19 spread in the community,” said Mayor Paterson in a press release. “At a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country and the province, we need to do everything we can and utilize every tool we have available to ensure the safety of our community.”

The new Order also expands on the existing Order of June 27, 2020 issued by Kingston’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, which requires face coverings in commercial buildings, with this new Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings while in any enclosed common area of a multi-unit residential building. To comply with this new Order, building owners are required to place appropriate signage at all entrances to the building indicating this new measure.

According to the press release, the Order is based on the recommendation of Dr. Kieran Moore and is in effect immediately.

Enclosed common areas in buildings

Under this new Order, individuals using enclosed common areas in multi-unit residential buildings must wear a face covering in all enclosed common areas, and building owners are responsible for ensuring that this order is adhered to.

Exemptions

Exemptions apply for children under 2, and children under 5 chronologically or developmentally, who refuse to wear face a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.

Individuals with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering, who are unable to replace or remove a face covering without assistance, or who have exemptions under provincial or federal legislation are also exempted from the Order.

Further exemptions apply to employees of a building without public access or behind a physical barrier, individuals where temporarily removing a face covering may be necessary for the purpose of receiving services, or while engaging in athletic activity.

Individuals will not be required to provide proof of exemption upon entering a building, says the release.

Building owners are required to post the following notice in a conspicuous area at all entrances:

ALL PERSONS ENTERING OR REMAINING

IN THESE PREMISES SHALL WEAR A

FACE COVERING WHICH COVERS

THE NOSE, MOUTH AND CHIN AS REQUIRED

For the purposes of this Order, an “enclosed common area” refers to a space, room or facility available for common use within a multi-unit residential building, including but not limited to a lobby, elevator and meeting rooms.

Sidewalks, streets and boulevards

The new physical distancing requirements apply to individuals on the sidewalks, streets or boulevard in downtown areas, as identified in the map, and individuals in the designated area must refrain from congregating and loitering in groups of more than 10 people.

Exemptions

Exemptions apply to individuals who are members of the same household, same family or groups of 10 or less people who are physically distanced 2 metres from others, situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained for health and safety reasons, or for the enforcement of this order, and in the incidental transitory passing of others.

Enforcement

Failure to abide by an emergency order is enforceable by at $2000 fine under the City’s Administrative Monetary Penalties process.  

Officers have the right to enter buildings to conduct inspections to determine if the Order is being adhered to with regards to face coverings in enclosed common areas of buildings.

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