Medical masks are here until September but no more scarves and bandanas in Mississauga, Brampton

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Mandatory wearing of facemasks will be extended in Mississauga and Brampton until the end of September, but you will no longer be able to wear any old facemask.

That's the plan of Peel Region's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh who says the extension of the mask wearing is needed because the current guidelines expire at the end of this month. He says masks still need to be worn to curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, while the initial rules called for any kind of face covering, Dr. Loh now wants to disallow the use of scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters or neck warmers.

"These types of face coverings are no longer recommended," Dr. Loh says in a new report. "Scarves and bandanas are not well secured to the head or ears, can easily move or slip out of place, and don't cover the nose, mouth and chin securely without gaps. Neck gaiters are also not well-secured to the head or ears, can easily move or slip out of place, and are also difficult to remove without contaminating oneself. Finally, masks with exhalation valves allow infectious respiratory particles to spread outside the mask."

Moving forward he wants the public to only use approved medical masks.

There is no indication if members of the public will be fined if not adhering to the new mask rule.

As well, new rules are being introduced that will limit the removal of masks for eating and drinking to those who are seated in an approved area. This is being done, according to Dr. Loh, because some people have been using the eating and drinking exception to not wear masks in general public spaces by carrying around empty cups and food containers.

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