"Absolutely everybody" on transit should wear a mask: Dr. Bonnie Henry

Jul 17 2020, 5:50 pm

As BC continues through Phase 3 of its restart plan, more people are using transit to get where they need to go. And this week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said “absolutely everybody” on transit should be wearing a mask.

“I absolutely think everybody on transit should be wearing a mask – everybody who can,” she said during a press conference. “If you are taking transit right now, you should be wearing a face covering unless there’s a very valid reason you can’t.”

Henry said she recognizes that enforcement of a guideline like this is a challenge and that “we know that sometimes it’s hard to tell when people can or can’t wear a mask – it may be around physical disability.”

However, she said, “there are very few medical reasons that people can’t wear masks.”

She also stressed that masks are safe to wear, adding they don’t increase risk of people becoming hypoxic, they don’t increase the risk of keeping bacteria or viruses in the body, and they don’t exacerbate pre-existing conditions like asthma.

Still, Henry recognized that the very act of wearing a mask can take some getting used to. “I know that from my own experience,” she said.

Even so, “we should be using masks on transit all the time. I do, and I expect others to as well.”

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