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Petition calling for mandatory masks in grocery stores

A Guelph man is calling on the CEOs of major retail grocers to reconsider their policy for shoppers
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A Guelph man, Rob Shirkey, is calling on the CEOs of Canada's major retail grocers to make masks mandatory for anyone wanting to shop.

Throughout the pandemic, businesses have adopted personal protective equipment like masks as part of their in-store policy for employees, but varied when it came to customers.

The petition is aimed at the CEOs of Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Costco Canada, and Walmart Canada, who represent the lion's share of the retail grocery market in Canada.

Shirkey has been a general advocate for the use of masks during the pandemic, saying that it would cut down on transmission rates the more people take part.

Grocery stores are a high-traffic, enclosed area, and likely a source of community transmission, according to Shirkey. Pairing a mask with a grocery store trip would lower the rate of shopper-to-shopper transmission.

Public Health's own stance on masks have adjusted over the course of the pandemic. Canada's chief public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, is now fully recommending the use of non-medical masks when going out in public.

As more provinces begin to lift their stay-at-home orders, Tam stressed that the masks were not guaranteed protection, and should be paired with other measures, like physical distancing and hand-washing.


Phi Doan

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