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Masks

Protect Yourself and Others

Public Health strongly recommends residents continue to wear a mask

How to properly wear a mask

Current recommendation

Niagara Region Public Health strongly recommends residents wear a mask in indoor spaces as well as in crowded outdoor spaces.

Public Health reported more COVID-19 deaths in August 2022 than any other month since February 2021. This makes August 2022 one of the most deadliest pandemic months in Niagara.

As we head into the fall, the risk from COVID-19 is increasing. During times of high infection risk and resurgence of COVID-19, everyone who is able to wear a mask is advised to do so to protect each other, particularly those who may have medical risk factors.

How masks help prevent the spread of infection

After vaccination, masks are the best protection we have against COVID-19. A recent study shows the effectiveness of face masks and that people who reported always wearing a mask in indoor public settings were less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than people who didn't.

Masks help protect not only the wearer but those around them by:

  • Blocking individuals from breathing in virus
  • Blocking an infected person from breathing virus out into the air

The higher the mask quality, the better protection against COVID-19. Learn about the qualities of a good mask.

Settings and situations where masks are still needed

Ontario requires masking in long-term care and retirement homes.

Also, per federal travel regulations, if an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated child age five to 11 is returning from international travel; that child must wear a mask for 14 days (including in schools and child care) after arrival in Canada.

Situations where masks should be worn

Per provincial guidance, masks should be worn:

  • If someone had COVID-19 symptoms (regardless of a COVID-19 test result) and their self-isolation period is ending; that person should wear a mask when out in public (including in schools and child care) for 10 days from when their symptoms started or date of test (whichever is earlier / applicable)
  • If someone tests positive for COVID-19 but does not have any symptoms; that person should wear a mask for 10 days when out in public, including in schools and child care
  • If someone is a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (household or non-household) that person should wear a mask for the self-monitoring period of 10 days post-exposure
  • If a staff member, child or visitor received their COVID-19 vaccine or flu shot in the last 48 hours and are experiencing mild fatigue / tiredness, muscle aches and / or joint pain that only began after vaccination; that person should wear a properly fitted mask for the entire time at school / child care while they're experiencing these symptoms

Workplace mask policies

Some businesses, organizations and health care settings may choose to continue masking policies as part of their ongoing operations. You will need to follow their masking policy.

Public Health supports masking policies since they prevent staffing disruptions, and keep workers and clients safe. Workplaces and businesses can learn more about masking policies and other ways to manage COVID-19.

How to properly wear and handle a mask

Making sure your mask fits properly is important so it can provide the best protection against COVID-19. No matter which type of mask you are using, proper fit is a key factor in its effectiveness. Learn how to make your mask fit properly.

There are also important things to remember while handling and wearing masks. These include to:

  • Clean your hands before putting a mask on and immediately after taking it off
  • Avoid touching the mask while you have it on and keep your hands away from your face. If you do touch your mask, clean your hands right away.
  • Do not wear a mask that is wet, dirty or damaged
  • Do not share or touch another persons mask

Learn more about how to choose, use and care for a mask.

Watch this video on how to store a reusable mask.

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