Ontario’s doctors support the chief medical officer of health’s recommendation today that people wear masks in public indoor settings to help stop the surge of COVID and other viruses in children.
“Wearing a mask is one of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself and the people around you,” said OMA President Dr. Rose Zacharias. “We strongly recommend people wear masks in public indoor spaces, especially when they are with children, the elderly or other vulnerable people.”
The OMA is also urging everyone to get the flu shot as well as their COVID-19 boosters. Ontario is facing the “triple threat” of the flu, which has arrived early, a resurgent viral disease in children known as RSV and the continued circulation of COVID.
This comes as the province’s health-care system is already under immense strain, even before the usual increase in emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to respiratory illnesses in the winter.
Some pediatric hospitals and clinics are at capacity and limiting services as they deal with the increase in respiratory viruses. Both children and adults were protected from these viruses during the pandemic because of public health measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID, such as mandatory masking and physical distancing.