Hana Morris, left, and Forrest Golic wear masks as they walk hand-in-hand Monday in Yakima. Washington state will require people to wear facial coverings in most indoor and outdoor public settings under a statewide public health order announced by Gov. Jay Inslee in response to ongoing COVID-related health concerns. Yakima County, which has been among the hardest hit by the outbreak, has even more stringent requirements under a separate proclamation. (Amanda Ray/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP)

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19. B.C. recorded 30 additional cases of COVID-19 on July 21, continuing a trend of higher infection related to summer activities.

The four new cases of COVID-19 reported for Island Health on Monday mark the biggest jump in the region’s cases since April 23.

ALSO READ: BC Transit hands out free masks at Greater Victoria bus stops

Seven new cases were reported in the Island region between July 15 and 20, according to data from the BC Centre for Disease Control. Six of those cases were included in the 102 new cases recorded in B.C. over a three-day period. The upsurge prompted a warning from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that the province is at risk of an “explosive growth” in cases.

“The recent community cases have meant that some restaurants, wineries and recreational facilities in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland have been notified of a potential exposure with some employees, or have had employees who are confirmed positive for COVID-19,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement. “We commend the businesses who have proactively notified the public and temporarily closed for additional cleaning.”

The rising number of cases in B.C. has prompted calls for regulations requiring the use of masks in situations where social distancing is not possible.

ALSO READ: No mask, no service? Businesses have the right to require masks on customers

Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said “wearing a non-medical mask even if you have no symptoms is an additional measure to protect others around you” in places where it is hard to guarantee physical distancing, such as grocery stores and public transit.

However, Tam noted wearing a mask does not mean Canadians can stop physically distancing, self-isolating or hand-washing measures.

Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public? Take our poll and let us know what you think.


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