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The Who, How, and Where of mask usage in Kingston

Ollie the Moose from Kingston Trolley Tours does his due diligence and wears a mask. Daniel Tastard-Homer/ Kingstonist

In a series of YouTube videos, Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has answered some frequently asked questions about the mandatory mask mandate set in place by Section 22. 

Here is what he highlighted in the videos: 

Who is exempted from wearing a mask and what to say to a business owner:

According to the order if you are in one of the following scenarios, you do not have to wear a mask: 

  • A child under two, or 
  • A child under five who has a cognitive or developmental delay and refuses to wear a mask, or
  • If the mask inhibits your ability to breathe to a worrying extent, or 
  • If you have significant respiratory difficulties, or
  • If you have cognitive difficulties, difficulty hearing or processing information

If a person is in one of these scenarios, they do not need a medical note to enter a business. If the business owner is refusing service to someone who claims they cannot wear a mask due to medical purposes, Dr. Moore encourages that person to show the business owner the order which highlights the rules in place for mask usage, which can be found on the KFL&A Public Health website

How to put on a cloth mask

  1. Wash your hands for 15 – 20 seconds
  2. Grab the mask, pinch it around your nose and under your chin and tie it around your head or place it on your ears. According to Dr. Moore, the mask should have a snug fit. It should be clean and you should be able to breathe through it with out any issues. It is advised that you do have an extra mask because if it does get soiled or washed, it does need to be cleaned, otherwise it has lost its function.
  3. When taking off the mask, make sure your hands don’t get contaminated by the front of the mask. Put it in a laundry basket for the wash. Then wash your hands.

Are masks required in common spaces in condos or apartment buildings? 

According to Dr. Moore, this is not outlined in the order, but he has heard of the spread of the virus in these spaces. Because of this, he strongly encourages mask wearing in the common, confined public spaces in apartment buildings, especially elevators. 

What about doctors’ offices and hospitals? 

According to Dr. Moore, hospitals and doctors’ offices will set their own protocols and recommendations in place as things continue to change with the status of COVID-19 in Kingston. If you are going to the doctor or hospital at this time, be sure to check their website or call ahead to ask about best practices. 

Dr. Moore also advises citizens to wash their hands before they put their mask on, and after they take their mask off. 

And lastly, Dr. Moore advises patience with fellow citizens. “We need to have some understanding and some leniency as this is applied over the next several months,” he said. 

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