August 14, 2020
A Toronto street nurse is raising the alarm over the city’s decision to leave homeless shelters out of a bylaw that mandates masks in all public indoor spaces.
“It was really quite a shock to discover,” said Toronto street nurse Cathy Crowe when she heard shelter users aren’t required to wear masks.
Under a recently enacted bylaw, masks have been mandatory in all public indoor spaces in Toronto for over a month. That requirement was later expanded to include common areas in condo buildings on Aug. 5.
But in a memo sent to shelter staff from the City of Toronto, shelters, respite services, and other indoor congregate living settings “are not considered enclosed/indoor public spaces.” While mask-wearing may be “encourage[d]” in common spaces, the note also says it will not not be providing any masks for shelter users.