What was once a rarity is now becoming common place as masks are being worn by everyone from workers to shoppers.
In April, the chief medical health officer began recommending face coverings when two metres of physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Since then, Canadians have been quick to don face coverings and manufacturers have been making them available to customers in stores.
But while mask wearing is generally optional, more places are requiring them as a way to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The latest store to require customers to wear face mask is Walmart, which will ask shoppers to wear face coverings starting tomorrow Aug. 12.
Here’s a list of some other places you will be asked to don a mask in the Tri-Cities.
Transit - beginning Aug. 24
Airlines - has been in place since April 20, with the policy updated just last Friday
Costco - masks have been recommended since late May
T&T Supermarket - was one of the first stores to ask customers to wear face coverings
Starbucks - the coffee giant recommended face coverings when it re-opened stores in May
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, masks should be worn by people who are sick or are caring for a sick person. However, wearing a non-medical or cloth mask or face covering is a “matter of personal choice and it might help to protect others.”
Schools may also be a place where masks or face coverings are worn in certain circumstances. Although they won’t be mandatory when schools re-open in September, Dr. Bonnie Henry said they may be worn in certain settings, but only for short periods, and are “the last layer of protection.”
Dr. Kathleen Ross, president of the Doctors of B.C., also recommends masks in situations, such as schools, when physical distancing can’t be maintained. However, she notes that they shouldn’t be worn by children younger than two because they could be a choking hazard for little ones.
The reason masks are now being recommended in some places is because some people can spread the virus when they have very mild symptoms or may not know that they are infected.
“In this case, wearing a mask can help protect others by containing your own droplets when talking, laughing, singing, coughing or sneezing,” according to BCCDC.
“Wearing a cloth mask might not protect you from COVID-19, but it is a good option in situations where you cannot keep a safe distance from others for an extended period of time, such as when you are on transit, getting a haircut or visiting someone indoors,” it further adds on its website.
Do you require customers to wear masks at your business? Send us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to the list.