How protective is a non-medical mask during COVID-19?

Michelle Mak COVID-19, Daily Life, Newcomer Information

Aren’t sure how protective a home-made mask or a non-medical mask is? According to the Government of Canada, wearing a homemade facial covering/non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. But, it can be an additional measure to protect others around you, even if you have no symptoms! It can be useful for short periods of time, when physical distancing is not possible in public settings, such as when grocery shopping or using public transit.

When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets.

Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

  • allow for easy breathing

  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops

  • maintain their shape after washing and drying

  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty

  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment

  • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)

  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

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