Masks are Still the Best Preventative Measure
Dr. Tam warns Canadians that “vaccines won’t be the end of masks”
Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam has advised us that now is not the time to stop wearing a mask. Masks continue to be one of the most useful tools in our arsenal to stop the spread of the virus and lower the risk of exposure to variants, especially now because infection rates in much of Canada are still elevated. As Canadians get vaccinated, and as infection rates fall, our experts will have to decide when and if we can loosen the health restrictions regarding mask wearing, but now is definitely not that time.
Although U.S. President Joe Biden told Americans in late April that if they’re fully vaccinated, outdoors, and not in a big crowd, they “no longer need to wear a mask,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that masks should still be worn indoors.
Canada’s top public health officials, however, believe Canadians should take a more community-minded approach, and even after being fully vaccinated, we should maintain our key health measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and frequent and thorough hand washings.
In an interview with the CBC, Doug Manuel, a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital, asserted: “The discussion about masks is going to depend on the level of vaccinations. The key to no masks is a low likelihood of transmission in the community, and the key to that will be the level of vaccination.”
The vaccines protect people from becoming ill and being hospitalized, but it’s still possible to carry the virus and be contagious to others. That’s why all vaccine recipients should still be wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.
Manuel furthermore asserted that “Herd immunity could be reached if around 70 to 80 per cent of people are vaccinated, at which point public health restrictions can be relaxed.”
Wearing a mask routinely when going out in public is considered polite behaviour in some Asian countries such as China and Korea, and it’s possible to envision that continuing to wear a mask in Canada could become quite normalized. Vulnerable people might feel more comfortable wearing a mask in public for protection and wearing a mask when in a crowded store or on bustling streets could be perceived as well-mannered concern for public health.
Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tam said recently that some of the more restrictive public health measures, such as business closures, might be lifted over the summer as more and more Canadians receive a vaccine. Or as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referenced the subject in a recent press conference, Canadians can expect a “one-dose summer, two-dose fall.” But Dr. Tam also reminded us that “vaccines won’t be the end of masks.”
Dr. Tam recommends that Canadians wear a three-layer mask. And this type is now available at MedPPE Canada. Click on this convenient link for a 3-ply MedPPE Canada surgical mask: https://medppecan.com/product/3-ply-masks-50-box/
Although the 3-ply masks are a good everyday standard, Canadians perhaps should think of opting for masks that offer better protection when needed for venturing among crowds.
If you’re able to opt for KN95s, which are actually “respirators,” you should do so. MedPPE Canada’s KN95 respirator masks are recommended by Health Canada, the CDC, approved by the FDA and are an essential resource for keeping healthcare workers and the public safe. With almost identical specifications, these masks have similar filter performance, flow rate, inhalation and exhalation metrics resistance and KN95 masks are manufactured from a non-woven fabric which helps keep users safe from smog, dust, air pollution, bacteria and more. Click on this link for your reliable Canadian source of masks: https://medppecan.com/product/kn95-respirator-5-pack/