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Nova Scotia's top doctor shuts door on mask mandate return


While encouraging Nova Scotians to wear masks, the province’s chief medical officer of health didn’t commit to a full-on mandate Thursday.

With influenza, RSV and COVID-19 teaming up to fill emergency rooms across Nova Scotia, Dr. Robert Strang’s message was clear.

“If you are sick with cold or flu symptoms, stay home if at all possible,” Strang says.

However, Strang says for those who can't stay home, masks are recommended.

“Public Health and Nova Scotia continue to encourage people to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces and we all need to respect people who choose to wear a mask."

That’s as far as he would go -- masking is recommended, not mandated.

“I think at this time, just urging people to wear masks, I think it’s OK,” says resident Meghan Warmerdam. “ I don’t know about a mandate, I still think that people should have the choice to wear a mask.“

That choice extends to the classroom. In a statement to CTV Atlantic, the president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union says there’s deep concern with the high levels of respiratory illness in children.

“We expect public health to continue monitoring the situation and if it believes that mandatory masking needs to be reinstated in order to protect our most vulnerable Nova Scotia, we would certainly support that stance,” says Ryan Lutes, the president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

The fact that Strang did not bring in a mask mandate during Thursday’s press conference came as a relief to the business community.

“The big concern with mandates is the sudden nature of the mandate, so we don’t need surprises as a business community,” says Patrick Sullivan, the president of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

For now, there’s no desire to bring them back. Nova Scotia officially dropped all mask mandates in July. Top Stories

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