Canadian health officials have updated their recommendations on the proper use of non-medical face masks and facial coverings.
On Tuesday afternoon, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam recommended that people wear face masks and coverings that have at least three layers.
“The degree of protection that non-medical masks provide varies with the construction, the number of layers, materials used, and most importantly, the fit of the mask,” Tam said during a press conference.
She says that “to improve the level of protection that can be provided by non-medical masks or face coverings,” health officials “are recommending that you consider a three-layer non-medical mask.”
An ideal mask would include two layers of tightly-woven material, such as cotton or linen, as well as a middle layer that acts as a filter, such as a non-woven polypropylene fabric.
- See also:
Naturally, it should be large enough to completely cover the nose, mouth, and chin, and should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops.
“Masks are one of the ways we protect each other,” Tam reminded. “The degree of protection that non-medical masks provide varies with the construction, the number of layers, materials used, and most importantly, the fit of the mask.”
She also added that while masks act as an “additional layer” of protection, practices such as staying home if you’re feeling unwell, hand washing, and practicing physical distancing remain crucial.
“We know from the evidence in Canada and internationally that larger gatherings and indoor settings pose a higher risk of infection.”
Updated guidance on non-medical masks and face coverings, as well as how to construct your own, can be found on the Health Canada website.