"Consider using a mask" while having sex: Dr. Theresa Tam

Sep 2 2020, 11:58 pm

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has doled out her advice for having sex amid a global pandemic.

“Sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19,” she said on Wednesday.

Still, for those who “choose to engage in an in-person sexual encounter with someone outside of your household or close contacts bubble, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk.”

These steps, she said, include:

  • “monitoring yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and not having sex if you or your partner is experiencing symptoms;
  • limiting your use of alcohol and other substances so you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions;
  • skipping kissing and avoiding face-to-face contact or closeness;
  • using a mask that covers the nose and mouth;
  • being aware if you or your partner may be at higher risk for more severe outcomes of COVID-19;
  • engaging in safer sex practices, including using condoms and knowing your own STI status and the status of your partner.”

And while she admitted that “there is a very low likelihood” of contracting coronavirus through sex, Tam said “sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing – even if the people involved do not have symptoms.”

Tam also urged people, “as with all social interactions,” to keep their number of close contacts as low as possible.

Ultimately, “the lowest-risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone,” she said.

By taking these precautions and “staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19.”

Tam’s advice comes after the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) recently suggested people use glory holes as a way to satisfy their desires during the pandemic.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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