Despite mask requirements ending in healthcare settings across the province, leadership with the Lake of the Woods District Hospital says their staff continue to see COVID-19 circulating within the community, so mask requirements will remain in place at the hospital for the time being.

With mask mandates still in place, residents are reminded that staff will continue to:

- Screen all patients, clients and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19,
- Require all individuals entering the hospital to wear a mask,
- Require all visitors to show proof of vaccination,

“Given our commitment to quality and our duty to protect staff and patients, and those most vulnerable who are in our care, we will continue to follow our current COVID-19 policies across our sites,” wrote the hospital, in a prepared release. “These have served us well throughout the pandemic period. Your understanding and compliance with these policies is appreciated.”

The Ontario government ended mask mandates in most high-risk settings on June 11, which included healthcare settings, shelters, public transit settings and jails.

However, masks will still remain in long-term care homes and retirement homes, with no timeline to remove the requirements. Masks are also strongly recommended, but not mandatory, in shelters and group homes.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, says residents should continue to wear a mask if they feel it is right for them, are at high risk for severe illness, are recovering from COVID-19, have symptoms of the virus or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.