The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) Wellness at Work update on March 17 provides the following message to workplaces and employers:
Last Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that it will be removing provincial masking requirements in most places (including schools) as of March 21, 2022. Some exceptions to this will include public transit, long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate living settings, health care settings, and other settings. The full list of locations where masking will be required is outlined in O.Reg 213/22: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step.
To avoid confusion, the TBDHU letter of instruction issued by the Medical Officer of Health dated July 16, 2020 requiring masking in indoor public spaces will be officially rescinded and will not be in effect on March 21, 2022. At that time, businesses and organizations will be subject to the provincial regulation only.
It should be noted that employees and patrons/clients will continue to be obligated to following the mask requirements as outlined by the Federal Government with respect to return from international travel, as well as provincial instructions on what to do if exposed to COVID-19.
On Monday, please remove the signage at public entrances that indicates masks are required for entry by the Medical Officer of Health under the authority of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Next week, TBDHU will have new signage available that businesses can choose to post promoting a “mask-friendly space.”
Although masking will soon be optional, masks will still be a layer of protection against COVID-19. TBDHU continues to encourage everyone to wear a mask in indoor spaces, especially if they are crowded. Anyone who is vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19 is also recommended to wear a mask. Their household members can help protect them by wearing a mask as well.