The Ontario government’s decision to extend its remaining mask mandate in high-risk settings like hospitals, long-term care homes, shelters and public transit until at least June 11 is being met with mixed reactions.

Andrew Williams, president and CEO of Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, says his organization “fully” supports the move.

He says the organization decided to continue its mask mandate at the four hospitals it oversees “indefinitely” and that the government’s extension “really helped our messaging.”

Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, says her association was calling for the province’s mask mandate to be kept in all indoor settings to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

But with mask mandates already lifted in most indoor spaces like schools and retail stores, she says she would at least like to see mask requirements kept indefinitely in high-risk settings until public health indicators like COVID-19 hospitalizations “significantly” improve.

Toronto resident Maria Elizondo, who commutes to work five days a week, says extending the mask mandate for public transit is “great” in theory, but is “worthless” in practice since mask-wearing is not being enforced on the TTC.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2022.

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