Ontario’s doctors say that wearing a mask or other face covering is one of the easiest and most effective things everyone can do to stop the spread of COVID and save lives.
Doctors working on the front lines of the pandemic are concerned about recent rallies by people claiming that pandemic lockdowns and restrictions are unlawful and causing more harm than good. This concern grew with news that more than 1,800 Ontarians tested positive for COVID for a second day.
In addition to spreading misinformation, the rallies have exceeded government guidelines on the size of outdoor gatherings and few of the participants have worn masks.
“My mask protects you and your mask protects me,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association. “The scientific evidence is clear. Wearing a mask is one of the easiest and most effective things every single one of us can and should do to reduce the risk of spreading and catching COVID-19.”
Some recent studies suggest that masks can also reduce the severity of infection for anyone who does catch the virus.
Masks reduce the spread of COVID-19 by blocking the infected droplets coming from your nose and mouth. Most people do not require medical-grade masks, which should be reserved for health-care workers and other first responders.
For masks to be most effective, Ontario’s doctors recommend:
- Non-medical masks or face coverings should be made of at least three layers of tightly woven material, be large enough to cover the nose and mouth completely, fit securely and keep their shape after washing.
- You should wash your hands before you put a face covering on and after you take it off. Remember the outside of the mask or covering is considered dirty.
- Do not adjust your face covering or touch it in any way while wearing it. Do not share your mask. After you take it off, wash it in hot water or throw it out.
Masks or face coverings should not be worn by anyone under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove their mask without assistance.
In addition to wearing a mask, Ontario’s doctors remind all Ontarians to continue to limit indoor gatherings to household members, wash your hands frequently and keep a physical distance of two metres from anyone you encounter outdoors.
“All Ontarians have a role and responsibility to play in curbing this pandemic and wearing a mask is part of it,” said OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “Ontario’s doctors join Premier Doug Ford’s plea to follow public health measures to get both our health and economy back on track as quickly as possible.”