KITCHENER -- Face coverings will be mandatory in Waterloo Region taxis and rideshares, along with in common areas of apartments and condo buildings, starting on Sept. 28.

Regional council also voted to extend the face covering bylaw to May 31, 2021.

“Face coverings are one of many ways we work together in our community to try to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Regional Chair Karen Redman said in a news release. “Extending the bylaw enables us to keep our community running while protecting each other.”

The bylaw, which came into effect on July 13, was originally to remain in place until Sept. 30, with a possibility of extension. It mandates face coverings in all indoor public spaces in the region, along with in all public transit vehicles and shelters.

COVID-19 cases have been increasing in the province and locally over the past few weeks. On Tuesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said the region has started "a new wave" of COVID-19.

Public health experts also say the disease could spread more easily during cold weather, regional council said. Flu season is also approaching, which could put added pressure on the health care system.

Officials said people should also continue to practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing and stay home if they're feeling sick.