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City outlines recommendations for non-medical masks

For immediate release: Fri, 2020-08-21 15:04
FI20-1497

On Monday, August 24, the Governance & Priorities Committee will consider a report that addresses the use of non-medical face coverings by the public.

“COVID-19 is still a public emergency and according to public health experts, it will continue to impact City services and the community for months to come,” says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Director of Emergency Management Organization. “At a local level, we continue to follow recommendations from the Government of Canada and the Provincial Government to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission using the hierarchy of controls. The hierarchy suggests that non-medical face coverings should be used when other controls such as staying at home, physical distancing, installing barriers, and altering services cannot be achieved.”

City Administration is recommending to Council that non-medical face masks be required when traveling on Saskatoon Transit beginning September 1 to allow Saskatoon Transit to safely operate full-seated loads and meet demand on all fixed route and Access Transit buses. The Administration is also recommending to Council that non-medical face masks are recommended, but not required, when accessing indoor City-operated facilities and services to protect the health and safety of residents and employees. Additionally, the report outlines implications and considerations in respect to a community-wide non-medical face masks bylaw.

“The health and well-being of our employees and residents continues to be our priority in putting these recommendations forward,” adds Goulden-McLeod. “By following the recommended safety precautions, and wearing a non-medical face mask indoors, we can continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community and protect the health of our family, friends and neighbours.”

If at any point in the future the Province provides direction related to mask use by the public the City would follow the Provincial lead. 

If approved, the City will focus on educating and informing the public of COVID-19 safety precautions and the use of non-medical face coverings as an additional safety precaution, rather than enforcement. 

Residents can expect additional City facilities to open in the days and weeks ahead. For the latest updates on City services including a list of convenient online services, visit saskatoon.ca/covid-19