People are calling out Public Health Ontario over masking guidelines

Jan 13 2022, 4:49 pm

Public Health Ontario is on the receiving end of some serious anger after tweeting out masking guidelines that don’t exactly follow the evidence.

On Wednesday, the public health agency tweeted that while respirators and medical masks provide more protection, cloth masks are more comfortable. It quickly went viral on Ontario Twitter, with many calling out the questionable health advice.

Experts have been calling for the widespread use of better masks, like N95s and KN95s, since before the onset of the Omicron variant. Writing for The Tyee, Infection Control Epidemiologist Colin Furness said that everyone should be using N95 masks.

One Twitter user compared Public Health Ontario’s guidance in the tweet to condom use.

In November, the federal government changed their guidance on masking. They said that cloth masks could provide some protection, but medical masks and respirators are better.

masking guidelines

Mask guidelines/PHAC

In December, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said that there is the “potential that it can spread in the air” but did not take a firm stance on if COVID-19 is transmissible through the air. In light of the highly contagious Omicron variant, many experts are now recommending N95s for everyone.

On Wednesday, Ontario announced that three-layer cloth masks would be provided to students in public schools.

The news came on the same day that many began calling for Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore’s resignation after his comments on making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory in schools. During a press conference, he told reporters that it is still a new vaccine and Ontario needs “a greater experience with it before we’d ever mandate it.”

He later clarified his remarks and stressed the importance of vaccinating children aged five to 11, but that hasn’t stopped people from wanting him ousted as chief medical officer of health.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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