Mississauga City Council has approved Peel’s top doctor’s request to extend the city’s short-term mask bylaw—which was scheduled to expire on Jan. 20, 2021 til June 30, 2021.
In a letter written to Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson, Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh, disclosed he believed it was a necessary step to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In the letter, Loh wrote: “Due to the continued presence of the virus in our community and the high number of cases in Peel, my public health advice is that local municipal by-laws mandating the use of face coverings continue in force until June 30, 2021,” Loh wrote in the letter to Peel Region mayors.
“We continue to closely monitor the virus in our community and will provide regular updates to municipalities to help inform Council decisions regarding the continuation and/or repeal of these temporary by-laws.”
Loh believes that apart from social distancing, wearing facemasks is an effective way of halting the spread of the virus.
Loh wrote: “Non-medical masks/face coverings that cover the mouth, nose, and chin without gapping remain an effective public health measure in controlling COVID-19 at its source by preventing the spread of respiratory droplets that may contain COVID19 from the wearer to others.
“This is especially important in situations where physical distancing is difficult.”
The Council approved the extension without debating it and has been regularly extending COVID-19-related bylaws fairly regularly over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Council first implemented its COVID-19 Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw, which requires every individual (with some exceptions) to put on a mask or face-covering at public places like retail stores, indoor sports and recreational facilities, apartments and condominiums on July 8, 2020.
Under Mississauga’s face-covering bylaw, businesses must maintain face-covering policies and post signage related to these policies.
Fines for contravening the city’s face-covering bylaw range between $150 and $300 and seem to be slammed on small businesses that are first-time offenders. Accprding to the city, tickets issued for violations of the province’s masking laws attracts a higher fine of $750 and are “more appropriate for repeat offenders.”