KITCHENER -- Guelph Transit isn't asking riders to wear masks anymore—it's telling them to.

The city first began asking riders to wear a mask or face coverings while using public transit back on June 5.

Since then, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has made face coverings mandatory for anyone going to a business in its jurisdiction.

In a news release, the city says that it received a letter from the public health unit asking that face coverings be mandated for transit users.

"We’ve seen more people wearing them voluntarily; making them mandatory reinforces the latest advice from local health officials," explains Guelph's deputy CAO, Colleen Clack, in the release.

"Guelph is using the same approach as Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto, and I hope that helps reassure people who may have been uncertain about using transit."

Face coverings include a scarf, bandana or mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Riders under the age of five, or those who are developmentally around that age, don't have to wear masks if they can't be persuaded to by their caregiver.

Those who would have their ability to breathe inhibited are also allowed to forsake the masks, as can anyone with a medical reason not to wear one.

There have been a total of 175 cases of COVID-19 in Guelph. That includes 118 resolved cases and nine deaths.

To date, Waterloo Region officials have declined to make masks mandatory anywhere, instead strongly encouraging people to wear them when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.