COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Frequently asked questions for non-medical face coverings and masks

What should I look for when choosing a mask?

Non-medical masks or face coverings should:
•  fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
•  maintain their shape after washing and drying
•  be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material (such as cotton or linen)
• be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

Can I purchase a non-medical mask for myself or a loved one?

Check with local retailers or on social media. Many businesses/entrepreneurs are selling/donating non-medical masks.

When you have chosen a supplier, check with them to make sure they used mask making guidance from a credible source.

Where can I get supplies to make my own mask?

Local or online fabric supply stores.

How to Make Your Own Face Covering – Government of Canada

I’m dissatisfied with the decision that was made by Council not to pass a County-wide indoor mask by-law. What are the reasons for this decision when so many communities are making masks mandatory?

On July 8 2020, Lambton County Council heard a presentation from Dr. Sudit Ranade, the Medical Officer of Health, regarding mandatory mask policies. Several options were presented and at that time, the MOH was not recommending a county-wide bylaw for a number of reasons that can be found in the Technical Briefing note. Council decided not to implement a bylaw, but declared its support and encouragement for those who can do so, to wear masks that cover their mouth, nose and chin in public indoor settings where physical distance cannot be achieved.
We understand that some people with disagree with this decision. Lambton Public Health is closely monitoring COVID 19 activity levels in the community and will revisit this discussion as we learn more about COVID 19 and the local situation evolves.

I’m confused about where I should and shouldn’t wear a mask in Lambton County. Can you clarify?

Public health advice has always been to use physical distancing as the best protection from COVID exposure, and in addition to hand washing and other measures, wear a mask or face covering where distancing is difficult to achieve.
• On July 8th, County Council supported this position, and passed a motion to declare its support and encouragement for those who can do so, to wear masks that cover their mouth, nose and chin in public indoor settings where physical distance cannot be achieved.
• In Stage 3, Ontario regulations now stipulate that patrons and staff of Personal Service Settings such as hair and nail salons, wear a mask or face covering.
• Many private and public buildings including medical offices and dental clinics have also required wearing masks as a company policy, so people should be prepared for this and keep a face covering with them.
• Many Ontario municipalities have enacted masking bylaws, including the City of Sarnia as of Friday July 31. This means that in Sarnia, masks will be required in all indoor public places including retails stores, restaurants, etc. See City of Sarnia for more information about the by-law.
• For more information about masks and other measures, please see our information page regarding how to protect yourself.

I can’t wear a mask for medical reasons – how can I get the services I need?

• Most mask policies and by-laws have exemptions for people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons such as breathing or lung conditions. Usually no “proof” is required. Many businesses and public settings support curbside pickup, delivery or other options for those who cannot wear a mask in the store.

How will mask policies be enforced?

• This depends on the setting and whether the policy is in the form of a by-law or other legal requirement such as a provincial regulation. Most settings rely on educating people so they know what the rules are, and expect that most people will follow the rules. If someone refuses to comply without a valid reason, they could be asked to leave the location. By-laws or Provincial Orders can be enforced by stronger methods including warnings and fines for patrons or business operators, but with an “education first” approach to enforcement, this would usually only happen in situations where there was blatant disregard for the rules.

I hear a lot about people using face coverings incorrectly. How can I use a face covering most effectively?

Our video will show you the most effective way to use your face covering. Remember – always carry your mask in a clean plastic bag when not in use. And always keep it clean – wash cloth face coverings regularly.