Coronavirus: Non-medical masks now recommended for Canadians, officials say

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GLOBAL NEWS 
Beatrice Britneff | May 20, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he will wear a mask to protect himself on Parliament Hill when he cannot maintain a two-meter distance between himself and colleagues.

As many provinces across Canada begin to loosen public health restrictions and gradually open their economies, federal public health officials are now officially recommending that people wear non-medical masks to help protect others from the novel coronavirus in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible.

After initially advising against wearing non-medical masks, federal health officials said in April that people who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — could wear non-medical masks when in public as “an additional measure” to avoid spreading droplets — but officials didn’t present it as an official recommendation.

Updated recommendations on the use of non-medical masks amid the ongoing pandemic will be posted on the government’s website later on Wednesday, Canada’s chief medical officer of health said during a news conference.

Dr. Theresa Tam has said some evidence suggests that COVID-19 can be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms.

Tam, however, has emphasized that wearing a mask — whether medical or non-medical — does not replace “fundamental” measures for curbing the spread of the virus, like staying two metres apart from people outside your household and washing your hands frequently.

Health officials on Wednesday said those measures must continue “as the bare minimum” through the spring and summer months and urged that “staying home when sick is a must.”

See the full report here.


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