Hirji says mandatory masks is a decision for elected officials


Niagara's Acting Chief Medical Officer is continuing to leave the decision regarding mandatory masks up to elected officials. 

Dr. Mustafa Hirji says the science has steadily been building over the last few months that masks have an effect in reducing transmission of COVID-19. 

Hirji has been recommending the use of masks both indoors and out when physical distancing can't be safely maintained, however he says making them mandatory for indoor use is a decision best left for elected officials. 

"Ultimately this is a decision around, what do we as a society want to do in terms of how much do we want to hedge our bets in trying to prevent a possible next wave versus how much are we willing to give up our freedom and you know change our lives given this pandemic, and i think regional council and municpal councillors are the appropriate place to do that.." Hirji said. 

Hirji  adds COVID-19 is "not gone from the community" and he says the majority of the population has not had it and therefore have no immunity to it. 

He says if we let our guard down, what we are seeing happening in the United States will happen here.   

The U-S currently has 2.9 million cases of COVID-19 and numbers are rising steadily.