Masks are now required in common areas of condo and apartment buildings across the City of Hamilton.
At Monday’s (Sept. 21) Board of Health meeting, members of the board voted in favour of an amendment to the city’s current mask bylaw requiring residents to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces.
Common areas in apartment and condo complexes were not covered in the previous version of the by-law, which was passed on July 20.
With this amendment, people who live in these kinds of buildings will be required to wear masks in elevators, lobbies, meeting/community rooms, laundry rooms and all areas of a building that are commonly used by all residents.
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In introducing the amendment, Dr. Ninh Tran, an associate medical officer of health for Hamilton’s Public Health Services (PHS), noted that while there haven’t been specific cases associated with exposure to these kinds of common-use areas, this acts as a precautionary measure.
“The current By-law does not protect individuals who reside in apartment buildings or condominiums in common spaces within their own buildings,” a report on the recommended bylaw amendment said.
“Although multi-unit residences are private property, members of individual units, including guests of units, may congregate or come into close contact in common areas increasing risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
Under the newly amended bylaw, masks will also be required in common areas of hotels and motels as well.
Several councillors on the board noted that the amendment will be welcome news among some of their constituents.
Ward 3 councillor Nrinder Nann said “some residents will be relieved” to hear the news as she has had several residents raise concerns over common spaces on some buildings in her ward.
The report also notes that Hamilton is one of the last municipalities in Ontario to include apartment and condo complex common areas in the mandatory face-covering bylaw.
The amendment to the bylaw is effective immediately.