Continuous masking will be in place in all NWT HSS facilities and offices by September 14th. On this date, all NWT HSS authorities will be requiring the public to also wear masks in their facilities. They began implementing a mandatory face covering policy for employees and the public at certain facilities on August 31st.
They note that an occupational health and safety risk assessment was completed in each HSSA office and workspace and based on these assessments, all employees that cannot maintain 2 metres of distance from other individuals will be required to wear either a cloth/non-medical mask, or a medical mask, depending on the nature of their work and location of their worksite and space.
Sue Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of the NTHSSA notes that wearing a mask is a reasonable intervention and another layer of protection that we can put in place to keep NWT communities safe.
“Our staff will be wearing masks when they cannot physically distance and we are asking the public to do the same. We need to work together to protect the NWT from the threat of COVID-19.”
They encourage individuals to bring their own mask; however, if an individual does not have their own mask, staff may be able to provide patients with one.
Erin Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Hay River HSSA mentions that evidence shows that COVID-19 can be spread even when individuals are feeling healthy, and wearing a non-medical mask or facial covering can be effective in protecting others around you.
“In addition to practicing good hygiene and following public health measures such as frequent hand washing and social distancing, wearing a mask is another tool we can use against the threat of COVID-19. Cloth face coverings and masks are powerful tools to protect ourselves, our families and our communities especially when used collectively.”
Wearing a mask is an easy and effective way to protect others and limit or stop the spread of COVID-19 in the NWT.