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Ontario Party Leaders Call For Return Of Masks & More Paid Sick Days As COVID-19 Cases Rise

But, not Doug Ford.

Toronto Associate Editor
A pedestrian wearing a mask in Ontario.

A pedestrian wearing a mask in Toronto.

Political leaders opposing Ontario Premier Doug Ford are calling for masks to make a comeback and more paid sick days amid a rise of COVID-19 cases.

The Liberals, NDP, and the Greens are urging the Ford government to bring back masks to essential indoor places like schools, grocery stores and pharmacies to curb the sixth wave.

As of March 21, masks were no longer required in most indoor settings, with the exception of public transit, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other congregate care settings.

On April 27, those masking requirements will lift at all remaining settings, which Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca said is "a huge mistake."

"Keeping Ontario open and keeping people healthy requires us to follow the science. And the science tells us that masks continue to be an important layer of protection against COVID-19," Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner said.

On top of bringing back masks, Del Duca and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath are demanding that PCR tests be accessible to everyone in the province.

"Health care workers are exhausted, and becoming infected with COVID at an alarming rate. And every bed taken by a COVID patient is another delay for someone waiting in pain for a surgery," Horwath said in a written statement.

Horwath is also looking to have at least 10 permanent paid sick days for workers so that they can stay at home when they're showing symptoms.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that masks won't be coming back to the province and that the rise of COVID-19 cases was expected to happen.

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