Canada’s top doctor recommends three-layer masks to reduce spread of COVID-19

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Canada’s chief public health officer is now appealing to Canadians to wear three-layer, non-medical masks with filters to limit transmission of COVID-19 as the country copes with a second wave.

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendations Tuesday in Ottawa. According to the updated guidelines, a mask or face covering can be homemade or purchased and should be made of at least three layers, two of which should be made of a tightly woven fabric, such as cotton or linen, while the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric.

The masks should also be “large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth, and chin without gaping.”

Filters add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 “by trapping small infectious particles,” say the guidelines. “Consider wearing a mask that includes a filter or filter material as one of its layers.”

Tam also encouraged Canadians to “avoid the three Cs,” as the country has about 30,000 active cases of COVID-19 now — including 1,900 new ones in Ontario and Quebec.

“Closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with large numbers of people gathered, and close contact situations where you can’t maintain physical distancing, this pandemic is teaching us a lot about being flexible and adapting to new challenges,” Tam said.

“The more time you spend in these spaces and situations and the more people present, the greater your risk,” she wrote in a tweet.

READ ALSO: B.C. records largest three-day weekend spike in COVID-19 cases

“Every decision we make to reduce our risk of exposure and every precaution we take to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, can help to slow the accelerated growth of the epidemic.”

Tam added, in the past week, the average day has seen about 1,100 Canadians in hospital with COVID-19.

Of the 240,000 total cases in the country since the start of the pandemic, more than 30,000 are active.

B.C. set a three-day record with 1,120 new cases over the Halloween weekend.

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