How to Correctly Wash and Store Face Masks

AIR CANADA

Strong testing and contact-tracing measures are needed across Canada to prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday as he promised federal help for any provinces struggling to implement such measures.

Ottawa-area resident Crystal Smalldon said people in her city are taking the advice from public health authorities "very seriously".

Air Canada (AC.TO) has revised its policy and will provide customers facing cancelled flights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with the choice of a voucher with no expiry date or Aeroplan points.

The Government of Canada's Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19, expressly states that non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment and indicates that while the supply of medical masks should be reserved for healthcare settings, there may be some non-healthcare work settings where medical masks are more appropriate than non-medical masks.

Trudeau said one of the challenges with the apps so far is that the app has to be open on your phone to work, draining battery.

She said if a mask inhibits the ability of someone to breathe in any way, it's recommended to not wear one.

"For the spring and summer months, strict adherence to the public health basics of physical distancing, handwashing and cough etiquette must continue as the bare minimum", she said.

While medical-grade masks - such as the N95 worn by health-care workers - help protect workers from an infectious patient, non-medical fabric masks are meant to protect others, not the wearer.

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Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer for Canada, said Wednesday the recommendation comes as stay-at-home orders are lifting in different provinces and more people are going outside, riding public transit, or visiting stores.

"So it's not something you do instead of, but we should be, I believe, at this point, prepared to wear a non-medical mask in certain situations where we can not maintain our physical distance", she added.

She said that there are some tips to help people with asthma wear a mask.

"Air Canada has had to abridge its selling schedule for summer 2020, with 97 destinations down from 220 past year, which nonetheless offers wide opportunities for travel and connectivity", a news release said". More than 50 countries have made wearing a mask mandatory.

The prime minister emphasized that the virus remains a "serious health threat" and provinces and territories must proceed with caution and listen to science. It's now looking at helping the private sector "get the equipment that they need and ensuring, of course, all the while that we're protecting the needs of our front-line workers".

Tam said the advice coming from her office today is a "specific recommendation", while the previous language was "more permissive".

Statistics Canada has also provided 1,700 interviewers who can make 20,000 calls per day to help with contact-tracing efforts, Trudeau said. There were also fears that wearing masks would prompt people to touch their faces more often and stay apart from others less often.

Tam said initially it was believed the novel coronavirus was only spreading from people showing symptoms. Some patients may never show symptoms at all and can still spread the virus to others.

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