Should Masks Be Mandatory in Hamilton? Statement By Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko

Mask wearing has been identified by Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health as an important part of Hamilton’s COVID19 post-peak framework.

Every person wearing a face covering properly is protecting those around them from the risk of virus spread.

But should masks be mandatory in Hamilton?

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

On June 29th, 2020 City of Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger along with the mayors and chairs of the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area municipalities (GTHA), issued a statement requesting the province make masks mandatory province wide.

Mask wearing has been identified by Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health as an important part of Hamilton’s COVID19 post-peak framework.

Continue reading below for a full statement from Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko

GTHA Mayors Call On Province to Mandate Masks

All GTHA Mayors and Chairs have unanimously agreed to request the Government of Ontario to implement a mandatory face covering measure for large municipalities. Any such order should apply to indoor public settings and would include appropriate exceptions for age and health.

Every person wearing a face covering properly is protecting those around them from the risk of virus spread.

Statement from the GTHA Mayors and Chairs commit to regional action on face coverings to combat COVID-19

For more information, please follow the link below:

Statement on Mandatory Masks from Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko

At our Council meeting on May 27th, 2020 City of Hamilton Public Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson presented research that indicates COVID can be contained if 60% of the population wears masks that are at minimum 60% effective.

A full copy of Dr. Richardson’s presentation is available here.

While mask wearing alone will not completely eliminate the spread of COVID, masks are an important part of Hamilton’s post-peak framework and economic recovery.

The following are the top seven recommendations for Hamilton’s post-peak COVID framework as presented by Dr. Richardson:

Despite public endorsement of voluntary mask wearing, we are not at the 60% compliance level necessary for effective virus control in most situations.

Mandatory mask wearing does not violate anyone’s civil liberties any more than any other public health regulatory requirement that is necessary to keep our residents safe and healthy (such as requiring food service workers to wash their hands after using the bathroom).

In fact, the City of Hamilton already requires mandatory mask use for some City services, such as on public transit.

Mandatory mask regulations are about setting clear expectations for all residents.

We all know that we should be wearing a mask in public – that our mask helps to protect others from potential COVID19 exposure, and in return their mask protects us.

But, we’ve all done it:

You’re out somewhere, mask in hand, looking around – if most of the people you see are wearing a mask, you put yours on.

No problem.

If most of the people you see are not wearing a mask, you start second guessing yourself.

Is it really necessary? Does it really matter just this one time? If it was so important, why isn’t everyone else wearing one? Will people think I’m weak or afraid if I’m the only one with a mask on? Will I look goofy?

If a person does not see the majority of other people wearing a mask, they are far less likely to wear one themselves.

While it would be far more effective for the province to set province wide mandatory mask standards, I am committed to working with our City of Hamilton Public Health staff and my City of Hamilton Council colleagues to implement local by-law regulations if necessary.

Wearing a mask is not a big deal – the continued spread of COVID is.

Sincerely,

John-Paul Danko
Councillor – Ward 8

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

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