Peterborough Transit ‘strongly recommends’ riders continue to wear face masks

Ontario is lifting remaining mask mandates on Saturday except for long-term care and retirement homes

A trransit rider wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic

On the eve of the lifting of most remaining masking requirements in Ontario, Peterborough Transit is strongly recommending riders continue to wear masks on conventional transit and will continue to require masks on its specialized transit van services. Peterborough Public Health will also continue to require the wearing of face masks at its clinics and reception areas.

On Wednesday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore issued a statement that all remaining masking requirements would be lifted as of midnight on Saturday morning (June 11), except in long-term care and retirement homes.

“To continue providing an additional layer of protection for the most vulnerable, masks will still be required in long-term care and retirement homes,” Dr. Moore said.

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The mask mandate for indoor public settings was lifted on March 21, except for public transit, healthcare settings, long-term care and retirement homes, and shelters and other congregate care settings providing services to vulnerable people. The mandate for these settings was originally set to expire April 27 but was extended until June 11.

Although no longer required as of June 11, Dr. Moore has recommended that masking continue in congregate care settings. He is also allowing all organizations to set their own masking policies.

“Masking is recommended in higher-risk congregate living settings, such as shelters and group homes,” Dr. Moore said. “While masking requirements are expiring, organizations may implement their own policies. Ontarians should continue to wear a mask if they feel it is right for them, are at high risk for severe illness, recovering from COVID-19, have symptoms of the virus or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.”

On Friday, Peterborough Transit announced it would continue to require the wearing of masks for its specialized transit van service, and “strongly recommends and welcomes” the continued wearing of face masks by customers on buses, at the transit terminal, and other transit locations where physical distancing is not possible. This is the same policy being followed by the Toronto Transit Commission.

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On Thursday, Peterborough Public Health announced it would continue to require masks to be worn in all health unit clinics. This includes COVID-19 vaccine clinics, routine immunization clinics, school-based immunization clinics, and the sexual health and oral health clinics at the health unit’s offices at 185 King Street. Masks must also continue to be worn in the reception areas at the health unit’s offices.

According to Peterborough medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott, the health unit is continuing to require masks in clinical service settings and reception areas for the protection of staff and visitors.

“We are continuing to see deaths from COVID-19, even with community transmission now moving to low risk,” Dr. Piggott said. “Masking remains the second-most effective way after getting the vaccine of reducing transmission. It is well worth it in high-risk settings and settings with poor ventilation to protect ourselves and those more vulnerable around us.”