Non-medical Face Masks


Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health, has issued instructions to ensure the mandatory use of non-medical masks or face coverings in all commercial establishments, effective July 10.
This means that non-medical masks or face coverings are mandatory for all community members, with the exception of those who have health, respiratory and sensory issues; various disabilities; are unable to remove the mask without assistance; children under the age of two; or other valid reasons.

This guidance from the Region’s Medical Officer of Health provides clear direction to businesses and individuals, with respect to their obligations under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. At this point, non-medical masks or face coverings will be required, while the provincial emergency orders remain in force.

As a result of this instruction, face coverings will be mandatory in commercial establishments, which includes, but is not limited to, retail and convenience stores; malls; enclosed farmers’ markets; and business offices open to the public.

This instruction also requires business owners to implement a policy for the use of non-medical masks or face coverings; and to use discretion, under that policy, to refuse entry when people are not wearing a face covering.

You do not need to wear a non-medical mask or face covering at home with your immediate family members; while eating on a restaurant patio; or in the workplace where other standards apply, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

There is growing public health evidence that widespread use of non-medical masks or face coverings—when used with other public health recommendations—is effective in the fight against COVID-19. This includes physical distancing in public spaces, frequently washing your hands, and staying home when you are sick.

Carea CHC
Lindsay (289-355-8938)

Welcoming Streets is handing out non-medical cloth face masks that have been donated to the program through Frere du Nord. Approximately 300 have been given out to date.
Please contact Lindsay (289-355-8938) or the Welcoming Streets van if someone is in need.

Non-Medical Facemasks

Canada Sews is a grassroots group of people from across Canada who are sewing masks, surgical caps, headbands, and wet bags for frontline workers and people vulnerable to COVID-19.
In Durham, we have filled many requests to hospitals, senior homes and a few shelters.
I am sure though that there are some groups and vulnerable people who need masks and may not be able to access PPE.
Our masks etc, aren’t PPE, but they are well made and free.

Is there any way that you can get the word out to people within Durham Region? All they need to do is go to and make their request.


In response to COVID-19, many people are wearing masks and standing six feet apart while in the community. This presents some new challenges for everyone, but especially people with hearing loss or communication problems.
Wearing masks can sometimes make communication more difficult, especially for people who have trouble speaking or hearing.

How Masks Can Make It Harder to Communicate

Masks muffle sound, making it more difficult to understand speech and some higher-pitched voices.
 Masks take away our ability to read lips and see facial expressions, which help us better understand what we’re hearing.
 Speaking with a mask can be hard for people with communication problems, like aphasia or voice problems.
 Masks can be uncomfortable for people who wear hearing aids or cochlear implants (see tips below).

Improving Communication with Alternatives to Standard Masks
Different types of masks and barriers can help people communicate more easily. Some examples are masks with clear panels, face shields made of clear plastic, and clear barriers like plexiglass.

Tips for Wearing Hearing Aids or Cochlear Implants with a Mask
 Secure your device with wig tape or other non-damaging material, like a cloth headband.
 Instead of looping the mask over your ears, use a button extender for the mask to attach it behind your head.
 Take your mask off in a safe place, then check your device to make sure it’s working.
Tips for Communicating While Wearing a Mask or Physical Distancing
 Make sure you have your communication partner’s attention.
 Face your partner directly, and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
 Talk a little louder.

Talk a little slower.
 Use your hands and your body language.
 Ask your partner if they understood you; if not, say it a different way or write it down.
 Move to a quiet place if you can.
 If you’re talking with someone new, ask if there’s anything you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
Face masks with a clear front panel are also available at


“Wearing a face mask is an important way to lessen the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, more evidence shows the effectiveness of masks, and more places require people to wear them. Since masks are essential, it’s important to do whatever we can to overcome concerns about wearing them. Sometimes, for some people, wearing a mask can cause — or worsen — breakouts, rashes and other skin problems on the face.

Though so-called “maskne” (mask + acne) isn’t always related to acne, you might notice some facial breakouts as a possible side effect of mask use. Anna Chien, M.D., dermatologist in the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology, explains how you can care for facial skin problems while protecting yourself and others by wearing a mask”.