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Enforcement of face-covering bylaw too complex, says Grey County

At this time, the county will not be enacting its face-covering bylaw and will rely on the current order from the medical officer of health
2020_07_30 Grey County Council zooom mtg_JG
County and municipal staff will be meeting in early October to reassess the state of emergency and face covering bylaw. Jennifer Golletz/ CollingwoodToday

Grey County has yet to enact its mandatory face-covering bylaw, which has been under consideration since the end of July.

“Our businesses are asking,” said Town of Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever at a county council meeting held earlier today. “Are we going to have a county bylaw? They like having the support and the ability to have enforcement.”

Kim Wingrove, CAO for the County of Grey says while county staff have spent a considerable amount of effort crafting a face-covering bylaw, at this time, the county has no plans to enact it.

“The operational considerations for enforcement of the bylaw were becoming very complex,” Wingrove said. “It was decided at this time that the most appropriate course of action is for Dr. Arra to continue on providing direction as he has.”

Dr. Ian Arra, the medical officer of health for Grey Bruce Health Unit, issued a mandatory face-covering order earlier this summer, which was renewed on Sept. 9.

The current order will be in effect until Oct. 8.

Wingrove says a meeting is planned for early October with representatives from all of the county’s municipalities, where the need for a face-covering bylaw, as well as the county's and municipalities' state of emergency status will be reviewed.

"We will assess the situation at that time, and then hopefully make a determination about whether or not it's appropriate to continue with the state of emergency,” she said.

Grey County declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 26.

“The majority of those municipalities that had declared are still in a state of emergency,” said Grey County Warden, Paul McQueen. “Everybody is in this same state of waiting to see how we move forward with this second wave.”

Jennifer Golletz

About the Author: Jennifer Golletz

Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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