It might be time to get used to wearing masks in the 6ix. As businesses start to slowly reopen in the city, questions arise again as to how crucial covering your face is as a health measure right now. And it seems Toronto strongly recommends wearing masks as businesses and retail stores being to open up again from this weekend.
During the city of Toronto's live briefing on Friday, May 8, Dr. Eileen de Villa shared her recommendations in regard to the use of masks in the city.
And, with curbside pickups from retail businesses starting over the weekend, and more people heading outdoors, it sounds like you should wear a mask in case social distancing is harder than it seems.
"I've also been asked to provide advice on whether or not people should wear masks, especially as retail begins to open in our city..." Dr. De Villa said during the live stream.
"In a retail environment, when physical distancing cannot be maintained and you are in close contact with others, a cloth mask or face covering is strongly recommended to keep your germs from spreading to others, even if you have no symptoms," she adds.
Just a few days ago, Ontario Premier Doug Ford had announced the slow reopening of several businesses, including street entrance retail stores where curbside pickups will start as of Monday, May 11.
Almost immediately, questions were asked about how that would work in practice in the hugely high-density area of downtown Toronto.
Now, Dr. De Villa has addressed some of those queries with updated health advice.
However, while she strongly recommends face coverings, she reiterated that the very best way to stay healthy and avoid contracting the virus is by consistently and thoroughly washing your hands.
Dr. De Villa also stressed that all stores must promote proper physical distancing, as a separate point from the recommendation that customers wear masks.
A City of Toronto release outlines more ways businesses can maintain good health practices once they reopen.
Those include managing entry into their stores by use of tape or cones, managing lines inside the store with tape every two metres, scheduling pickup times, and going cashless where possible.
But it seems that Toronto's medical staff think now's the time to really double down on wearing face masks.
If you do plan on getting your hands on a few masks, remember to sanitize them properly and not by putting them in the microwave.
Ontario's Fire Marshal office showed in a video what happens in a video when you decide to microwave your PPE. Though that was a surgical N95 mask, even cloth face masks often have metal in them.
You've been warned!