Masks: Mandatory or not?

COVID-19 Sign

A mid-morning incident brought back to light whether face masks are necessary all of the time.

A local gas station temporarily refused to allow a citizen of the city to pay for his gas inside because he could not wear a mask.

The citizen was told they were going to call the police and when he offered to call APH it was explained to him what Algoma Public Health said wouldn’t matter.

There is a current order to wear a face mask but there are also exemptions to that rule like there are to the lockdown rules inside the province.

Algoma Public Health explains these exemptions as:

Do not place a mask on

  • children under age 2
  • anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
  • anyone that cannot remove the mask without help

The Ontario Government adds some more exemptions to that list.

Health and accommodations
(You do not need medical documentation to support any of the exceptions below.)
You do not need to wear a face-covering if you:

  • have a medical condition that inhibits your ability to wear a face-covering
  • are unable to put on or remove your face covering without help from someone else
  • are receiving accommodations according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Human Rights Code

Both organizations ask you not to abuse the exemptions if you can actually wear a mask.


  1. If you cant wear a mask wear a face sheild..i hate wearing one at work 8 hours a day and probably wouldnt if it wasent required…but it is…just like going to the store you need a mask suck it up and wear it or a sheild…you can get them from dollarama for heavens sake its 3 bucks…i would like to get a hair cut soon please lol

  2. You have the right to protect yourself and if a person is not wearing a mask….you are anyways right?
    So lets see…if you are masked and a plastic wall between customers and employees….you are protected.
    Fear robs persons of knowing what is protective.
    If someone unmasked walks into my personal space—I know I am wearing a mask and will back up so there is a social distance between us.
    Of course…Hand washing is key.

  3. If you are medically compromised and cannot mask, you may be at higher risk of a more severe outcome if you get infected and should probably stay safe at home and not be out in public. People will help you get what you need (food, medication). Also, if you aren’t wearing a mask these days, you may be the focus of hostility and anger from others. We don’t want any violence erupting. Nobody likes this.

    • Kara, your comment is very irresponsible, especially considering you are an APH employee. Due to people such as yourself, I have been suffering extreme lung irritation since summer, due to wearing masks. Fabric, disposable, makes no difference. Medical assistance? Not in this city, the pandemic means no care unless you show up at the hospital.

      I have substantially decreased lung function to begin with, and likely already had the virus last spring. Again, no medical care. How many years do you feel I should isolate myself from society because successive governments have siphoned off even the most basic medical care and can’t handle this down south?

  4. I too have health problems that will let me away without a mask but I wear one anyway where they are required. The ones that make me laugh are the ones that wear it one day but not the next, under the exact same circumstances. I keep one in my pocket at all times and put it on when I can’t safely social distance but I don’t wear it otherwise. Walking outside by myself far away from anyone, the mask becomes redundant…

  5. I have asthma, copd. I wear mask 100% of time. There’s really no excuse not to wear even if you are using oxygen. Come on people, wear your mask everywhere you can. Save lives, save your own life

  6. If you can drive a car you can put on a visor.

    Stupid thing is that when people cry asthma… I know plenty of severely asthmatic people that wear them. An Irish MD even did a youtube video measuring his oxygen levels before and after stacking layer after layer of masks over his face. No drop in oxygen… Standard mask is 1-3 layers. Dr had over triple that on and no drop.

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