Please find below a letter from Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brent Moloughney, regarding the use of masks in multi-unit dwellings to all:
- Multi-Unit Dwelling Managers/Owners
- Condominium Corporations
- Residential Building Management
Re: Recommendation for Mask Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings
Thank you for your continued commitment over the past several months to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on residents. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is proud to be a part of such an engaged and responsible community who takes the health and safety of our City seriously.
As you are likely aware, Ottawa has experienced a recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. This is worrisome and has reinforced the need for additional public health interventions to decrease risks of transmission. Increasing scientific evidence supports wearing a mask when in enclosed public spaces as an important measure in reducing COVID-19 transmission, while the risk of rising rates of infection continues.
In addition to our previous letter of instruction dated July 6, 2020, as well as the City of Ottawa Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw that was passed by Ottawa City Council July 15, 2020, I am now also strongly encouraging residential building management, owners, landlords and condominium corporations to adopt a policy requiring that all individuals entering or remaining in their common spaces and shared amenities (including but not limited to: entrances, lobbies, laundry rooms, elevators, gyms) wear a mask or face-covering unless they are unable to due to the following exemptions:
- Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years either chronologically or developmentally who refuse to wear a Mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
- Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a Mask, including breathing difficulties or cognitive difficulties;
- Individuals who are unable to apply or remove a Mask without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended;
- A person who is employed by or is an agent of the Operator of an Enclosed Public Space and:
- is in an area of the premises that is not designated for public access, or
- is within or behind a physical barrier (e.g., Plexiglass).
Temporary exemptions for mask wearing should continue to be made for certain activities that may occur in these spaces (e.g. actively exercising, swimming). We also want to remind everyone to be COVIDKind and show compassion and understanding towards individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask due to health, medical, or personal reasons. These policies should also stipulate that masks should be worn in a manner that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. For more information, we encourage you to review the information located on OPH’s masks webpage.
It is also important that those who are responsible for residential buildings continue to keep existing and prospective tenants safe when showing a space. Please consider the health and safety of others and implement a policy that includes active screening, physical distancing, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning of all surfaces, and mask usage. Further guidance and resources are available at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/WorkplaceCOVID19.
Below are links to OPH resources that will help support your efforts.
We understand the pandemic has been difficult and continues to pose significant challenges. As we transition to reopening businesses and community settings in a safer way, it is critical that we continue in our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Thank you for your continued efforts.
Download a copy of the letter