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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

News release.....

Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Ian Arra is giving notice of intent to Order the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public places. The Order will be issued and coming into effect within the next 10 days as per consultation with stakeholders.

Population of Grey Bruce 160,000 plus
Total reported cases 114
Total active cases 2
Number of deaths 0

Number of identified cases in our area since the start of this pandemic as a percentage of population .07% or roughly 1 in every 1400 persons.

Whilst there is little doubt that the less restrictive travel criteria and the desire of many folks from more populous areas where there is a higher incidence of COVID to visit our area will see an slightly greater risk here this would seem to be la bit of an overkill.

That there has been no such order here or in most other places prior to this when there were many more active cases makes this order even more bizarre. Those folk that are in high risk situations can, and should, continue to take suitable precautions and I thank those that are doing so such as store clerks, food servers and of course our medical workers.

There is also little doubt that a proper mask worn and handled correctly will reduce the wearers chance of spreading any potential infection to others, the protection afforded to the wearer from general airborne contaminants is debatable. This is particularly true given that very few folks will indeed wear, handle, store and sanitize or dispose of their mask in the recommended manner and wash their hands after each use!.

If its so damned important why wait 10 day to implement this order?

Enough said!

The region's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra expects the order (Wearing a mask or face covering is going to be mandatory at any enclosed public space in Grey Bruce) will likely remain in place for six to eight weeks, but a mask mandate at indoor settings could be the new reality for a longer term. He says the order is designed to buy some time for municipalities to develop by-laws for mask or face covering use.

When it comes to research concerning mask or face covering use, Arra says there is “weak to moderate” evidence that applies to public use that is mostly anecdotal with some observation studies, but not clinical trials. “This evidence would say there is effectiveness when it is used in a widespread way in the community, that is around 5 to 12 per cent effectiveness,” explains Arra. "It's not high. Using a mask is not a silver bullet.”

Physical distancing is very effective, way more effective," continues Arra. "In the hierarchy of efficacy, a mask is not at the top. However, preventing five to 12 per cent of infections if people wear the mask, that's not a bad outcome." Arra stresses it remains important to remember the use of a mask or face covering does not replace effective practices of physical distancing, handwashing and screening for symptoms among others.

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