Canadians should wear masks as an 'added layer of protection,' says Dr. Tam
23 May, 2020, 00:30
But he added that individuals also need to contribute.
He was first seen wearing a mask in public during a May 6 Canadian Armed Forces repatriation ceremony.
The Government of Canada's Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19, expressly states that non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment and indicates that while the supply of medical masks should be reserved for healthcare settings, there may be some non-healthcare work settings where medical masks are more appropriate than non-medical masks.
Quebec's director of national health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, was also cool to the idea of widespread, non-medical mask usage through March and most of April.
"As soon as I leave my seat and walk past people and walk through potentially busier hallways, I will be wearing a mask", said Trudeau, who wore a black mask as he arrived at the House of Commons for an in-person sitting on Wednesday.
I have been noticing more and more people wearing masks when I've been out grocery shopping or running errands.
On Wednesday, Tam recommended Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren't sure they will be able to physically distance.
Federal contact tracers are helping public health authorities in Ontario and Trudeau said they're ready to make thousands more calls a day when any province asks.
The disclaimer comes despite the company's tariff - the contract between airline and passenger - which states that "the unused portion of the passenger's ticket (s) will be refunded" in the same form as it was purchased, "should the alternate transportation proposed by the carrier not meet the passenger's satisfaction".
"Wearing masks means breathing hot and humid air, so that can trigger asthma symptoms", she said.
"Although we don't fully understand their role in transmission, it is an added layer of protection", Dr. Tam said.
"Don't assume that someone who isn't wearing a mask or is wearing something different doesn't have an actual reason for it".
In Toronto's west end on Thursday, several people standing in line at big box stores were wearing masks.
"We really rely on facial expression as a form of communication, so the masks are a barrier in making those connections in the community".
Tam said accessibility is one of the considerations regarding mandatory mask use, because not everyone can wear a mask.
"It seems like the government has been saying for months that masks don't help, but now they supposedly do?"
And along with physical distancing where feasible, mask use might allow British Columbians to resume activities where crowding is unavoidable, he said.
While provinces and territories have co-ordinated with the Public Health Agency of Canada to get faster access to case numbers for COVID-19 during the pandemic, detailed epidemiological data is still lacking.
"It could be really challenging for a lot of families", she said.
"This virus can accelerate really quickly".
Nanaimo's Dr. David Forrest, who specializes in infectious diseases and critical care, said countries where public mask usage has been mandated have been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19.