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Masks required in Thunder Bay

Masks required in Thunder Bay Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: July 23, 2020 05:31 PM

A mandatory mask directive took effect Friday, July 24, in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas.

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The directive, issued by the Medical Officer of Health, orders all businesses and organizations in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to require people to wear masks or face coverings in enclosed public spaces.

Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro had backed the idea of masks but said earlier this month that it would have to be issued by the District Health Unit after determining that the city did not have the legal authority to impose the order.

Public Health Ontario said there had been 93 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit as of Wednesday, which is a per capita rate that is far lower than larger Ontario cities. The region moved to the last phase of reopening on July 17.

"The Thunder Bay District Health Unit area is in a good position as we enter stage 3, however we’re not out of the woods yet – we must all do our part to keep our community safe and keep the virus at bay," Dr. Janet DeMille, Thunder Bay Medical Officer of Health, said in a news release distributed by the city.

"We must maintain our vigilance on all the measures – observing physical distancing, frequent hand washing, social gathering limits and staying home if you have any symptoms. Masks are an additional layer of protection," DeMille said.

More information on the mask directive is available at www.tbdhu.com/mandatorymasks.

Many Minnesota cities, including Duluth and Cloquet, have adopted their own mask requirements, and a statewide mask requirement takes effect Saturday in Minnesota. The international border remains closed to non-essential travel through at least Aug. 21.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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