A member of Burlington City Council is suggesting that the new by-law requiring the wearing of masks, but prohibiting face shields, could be made more flexible. Angelo Bentivegna is responding to concerns raised by an Aldershot business man.
Chris Kowal, who owns CGA Face Shields on King Road, called all the members of Council when he heard about the prohibition imposed last week. Only Paul Sharman and Angelo Bentvegna returned his calls.
Councillor Bentvegna says he has been contacted by “four or five” people about the issue.
He says the bylaw does not provide the public with enough flexibility. He supports the medical experts but believes “if you can not wear a mask for whatever reason (face shields) provide an option”. “Why haven’t we looked into that a little bit more.”
The City bylaw, which reflects the Region of Halton’s bylaw, removes the words “face shield” from permitted face coverings. The argument is that face shields permit gaps in facial coverage. The City’s web site specifically states that “Public Health information indicates that face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth without gapping”.
According to the Region of Halton’s web site; “Face shields are not a substitute for wearing a non-medical mask or face covering as they do not filter respiratory droplets. Wearing a face shield alone does not meet the requirements of the Regional by-law.”
Bentvegna has written to the Regional Medical Officer of Health to inquire about the matter. He believes face shields; “would be a pretty good compromise for an individual who has restrictions”
Aldershot manufacturer Chris Kowal says people began cancelling orders for his shields almost immediately after the City imposed the ban.
Kowal believes that the ban on face shields is a result of poor workmanship by some suppliers, especially from China. “There was so much crap coming in from overseas”. He claims his masks are better and meet all Health Canada guidelines.
“A lot of people can’t wear a mask for medical reasons” and “they’re telling you to wear nothing if you can’t wear a mask. A face shield is a suitable alternative.” Said Kowal.
Kowal and his son Hayden “invested everything we had……every dime” in April to respond to the pandemic and while masks sales are still going well the new bylaw has negatively impacted the sale of face shields. Despite having sold about 40,000 shields so far, they still have a huge supply of raw materials on hand to make thousands more. The new restriction has created problems for them.
CGA shields sell for $6;90 plus tax
By Rick Craven, firstname.lastname@example.org