UPDATE: Fines Possible if Face Coverings Not Worn

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Businesses and individuals could come out of pocket if face coverings aren't worn in Windsor-Essex when the new rule goes into effect on Friday.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says health unit does have the power to issue fines upwards of $25,000 for a business and up to $5,000 to an individual but he hopes it doesn't have to get to that point.

“We are hoping that education will work but having said that, obviously this is a requirement to have all these policies and everyone needs to cooperate and everyone needs to support the recommendations and policies as per the order and do their part," he says.

Following the release of the policy on Tuesday, there had been some confusion around which farmers markets will require patrons to wear a mask. According to Dr. Ahmed, the order is not for markets held outdoors.

“My recommendation is always there to wear a face covering where physical distancing cannot be maintained, but it will not be a requirement under the way that we have listed," says Ahmed.

According to the health unit, commercial establishments as defined in the order include any place that are open to the public and offer goods and/or services for sale including:

  • Retail stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Malls/plazas
  • Restaurants
  • Personal service settings
  • Grocery stores and bakeries
  • Gas stations
  • Farmer’s markets (indoor)
  • Mechanic shops and car dealerships

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) reported four additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and one of the four is a worker in the agri-farm sector.

Six workplaces in the agriculure sector are still expreincing outbreaks, four in Leamington and two in Kingsville. There is also one outbreak at a long-term care home in Windsor where one staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

There are now a total of 1,365 cases of the virus in Windsor-Essex, 68 deaths are being reported and 808 cases are resolved.