With a second case of coronavirus being confirmed in Toronto this morning, Canadians are all wondering the same question: should I be wearing a face mask?
It seems that there might be an answer.
In a press conference this afternoon, Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said that the Ministry of Health has “never recommended” face masks.
While Williams acknowledged that certain cultures use face masks, he implied that Canadians will not benefit from using them.
He added that if Canadians are looking for respiratory protection, it’s “more important” to avoid putting your hands near your face — and to follow standard flu protocols.
Williams reminded Canadians that face masks can easily become dirty from lack of washing — which means that they’re actually more likely to keep germs in than keep them out.
Williams also revealed that the couple diagnosed with coronavirus wore face masks on the plane from China, as did the person who drove the couple to their private residence.
However, it’s unclear in light of Williams’ earlier statement whether this made any real difference.
Public health officials confirmed that they are following up with passengers that were seated within a “certain distance” of the two afflicted individuals.
They urged all other passengers to continue about their “regular business” unless they were experiencing respiratory symptoms.
Face masks are already selling out in Toronto, but the most effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is simple: wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and limit travel.