Canada's top doctor says non-medical masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19
Canada's chief public health officer now says that wearing a non-medical mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Theresa Tam, the top doctor at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said today that Canadians can use non-medical masks in tandem with social distancing measures to limit the transmission of the deadly virus when out grocery shopping or at a pharmacy.
The recommendation represents an about-face for the public health officer — who until now has resisted the idea of non-health care professionals wearing masks.
"Wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you," Tam said — while warning that a non-medical mask doesn't necessarily protect the person wearing it.
"A non-medical mask can reduce the chance of your respiratory droplets coming into contact with others or landing on surfaces," Tam said. "The science is not certain but we we need to do everything that we can and it seems a sensible thing to do."
Watch: Dr. Theresa Tam discusses non-medical mask use