Masks and Face Coverings
The Middlesex-London Health Unit continues to recommend that you wear a mask, and remain respectful of others, whether or not they choose to wear a mask.
Face masks must be worn in all Middlesex-London Health Unit sites and clinics
As an agency that provides healthcare services, the Health Unit will continue to require face masks to be worn by anyone who visits its vaccination clinics, Citi Plaza, or Strathroy offices. The Health Unit will ask that people who visit its clinics or offices, wear a medical grade mask. Medical grade masks will be provided if the individual does not have one of their own.
The removal of mandatory masking was announced Wednesday, March 9, 2022 by the Ontario Government, as part of their plan called Living with and Managing COVID-19. This plan outlines the timeline for lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures across Ontario.
On March 21, 2022, the Ontario Government removed the mandatory masking requirement for most settings, with the exception of select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals. Learn more →
However, masks are still required in all indoor public settings in the scenarios listed below.
|Scenario||When wearing a mask is mandatory|
|Following international travel||14 days after arriving in Canada|
|A member of your household has COVID-19||10 days after the date you were last exposed to the COVID-19 case|
|You are a close contact of a non-household member with COVID-19||10 days after the date you were last exposed to the COVID-19 case|
|You previously tested positive for COVID-19 or had COVID-19 symptoms||10 days after your symptoms started or you tested positive (whichever occurred earlier)|
A face covering can be a non-medical mask, medical mask, or a respirator. A respirator worn in the community doesn’t need to formally fit tested as is required in some occupational settings. Learn more →
Non-medical masks can be purchased or home-made and are typically made out of breathable fabric. The effectiveness of non-medical masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 can vary based on many factors like material, construction, fit and proper use.
Some non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 similarly to medical masks if they:
- fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- have multiple layers, including at least 2 layers of breathable tightly woven fabric, such as cotton AND have an effective middle filter layer
- maintain their shape after washing and drying
- are large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
- are comfortable and do not require frequent adjustments
In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection. No matter which type of mask you choose, proper fit is a key factor in its effectiveness. Learn more →
NOTE: Face shields do not replace face coverings. Face shields may provide an additional layer of protection, but they should not be used in place of face coverings.
Remember: Before touching your mask, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
When your mask or face covering is on, check to make sure:
- It completely covers your nose, mouth and chin. If it doesn't, try a larger size.
- There are no gaps between your face and the mask. Check the top, sides, and bottom of your mask. If there are any gaps or air leaks, adjust it. If gaps and leaks persist, try a smaller size or a differently-shaped mask.
Improve your mask's fit so it’s snug and has no gaps:
- Adjust the ties or ear loops. Tie knots in the ear loops and tuck in the sides of the mask so it lies flat.
- Adjust the wire nosepiece if your mask has one.
- Consider keeping facial hair shaved or short.
- Use a mask fitter or brace to help provide a snug fit.
- Layer a well-fitting non-medical mask over a disposable mask to help push the edges of the disposable mask closer to your face. Make sure that you can still breathe easily while wearing.
Make sure to properly wear, fit, remove, and clean or discard your non-medical mask or face covering. For more details, see the Public Health Agency of Canada's COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering (do's and don'ts list) or watch the Government of Canada's video. The Government of Ontario also has instructions for Face coverings and face masks.
The use of a non-medical mask or other face covering will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it may reduce the spread of your infectious respiratory droplets, should you be unknowingly infected.
Last modified on: May 16, 2022