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Can a face shield act as a substitute for a face mask/covering?

No. Eye protection, including goggles, safety glasses or face shields should be worn in conjunction with a face mask/covering and are not a replacement or acceptable substitute for a face mask/covering.

For more information about personal protective equipment including authorized products, medical gowns and face shields visit the Government of Canada’s website.

What are the differences between the use of medical masks versus cloth masks?

Medical masks were created to provide protection from droplets, splashes and sprays to the nose and mouth of the wearer. The outer side is fluid resistant, the middle layer provides filtration, and the inner layer is absorbent (for moisture from breathing, coughs, or sneezes). Medical masks also provide source control, containing the wearer’s own droplets inside the masks and thus protecting others.

Cloth masks can be considered for use for source control only. Cloth masks filter the expulsion of viral droplets from the wearer making them suitable for source control.

Are stores allowed to ask for proof that I am exempted from the Section 22 Face Covering Order?

By stating that you or someone in your care qualifies for a medical, age-related, or religious exemption to the Order, you or the person in your care are no longer required to wear a face covering in the commercial setting. No proof of the exemption is necessary. Please be advised that businesses may have enacted policies which extend beyond the Order and refuse entry to any person not wearing a face covering. Such policies are not recommended by the health unit or Medical Officer of Health.

How often should I wash a cloth or non-medical face covering?

It is recommended to wash reusable face coverings as often as possible, when they become soiled/wet, or at the end of each day. Face coverings can be washed  with your regular laundry on the warmest water suitable for the material, and dry on the highest heat setting or air dry, including putting it in direct sunlight if possible.

Visit the Ministry of Health’s web page for more information on the cleaning of non-medical masks.