Registrar’s Directive: Masks and face coverings mandatory at indoor funerals and visitations

Effective July 8, 2020
Further to the Registrar’s Guidance issued on June 15, 2020, wearing masks or face coverings is mandatory for all persons (funeral staff and attendees) inside all funeral establishments or any other indoor setting where a funeral or visitation is held in the following Ontario Health Unit jurisdictions:  

Windsor-Essex County
Chatham- Kent
Lambton
Middlesex-London
Haldimand-Norfolk
Niagara
Hamilton
Region of Waterloo
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
Halton
Peel
Toronto
York
Simcoe-Muskoka
Durham
Haliburton-Kawartha- Pine Ridge
Leeds-Grenville-Lanark
Ottawa

The wearing of masks or face coverings is strongly urged in all other areas of the province.
 
Your face covering protects them. Their face covering protects you.
 
Why you and your attendees should wear masks or face coverings:

1. COVID-19 loves mass indoor gatherings.[1] It spreads among people who are in close contact with one another (within about two metres or six feet).
2. The nature of funerals makes physical distancing difficult, if not impossible. Funerals are about mourning, comforting, consoling; there are hugs, tears, and runny noses.
3. COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. 
4. It is spread by respiratory droplets when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes.[2]
5. Masks and cloth face coverings provide a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air.
6. Recent research shows that wearing a mask significantly helps in preventing the spread of the virus. [3]  

All funeral and visitation notices must state the requirement to wear masks or face coverings in the jurisdictions listed. (Please know that the list of jurisdictions will change during the pandemic period.)  

-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar 

[1] Raywat Deonandan, global health epidemiologist and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa
[2] About Cloth Face Coverings – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 28, 2020
[3] The most effective weapon in the war on COVID-19 is as plain as the mask on your face, U.S. researchers find – Toronto Star, June 13, 2020

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