VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s new record of COVID-19 cases comes alongside new guidance on mask use, both provincially and federally.
On Thursday, the provincial health officer announced 425 cases of the coronavirus, shattering the previous record of 389.
The same day, B.C.’s Ministry of Health issued a directive requiring medical masks be worn in all healthcare settings across the province. That applies to all visitors and workers, with only patients inside their rooms exempt from the rules, which also cover long-term care facilities.
- B.C. surpasses 400 daily COVID-19 cases for first time
- B.C. mandates medical masks for patients, staff, visitors in all healthcare facilities
“This Policy protects patients, clients, clinicians, health care workers, non-clinical staff and the public by outlining provincial expectations for the use of face masks in all health care facilities, programs, and services, including community physician offices and outpatient clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the directive reads, adding facilities must provide medical masks.
I remember when BC hit 51 new cases July 18th calling a friend. Saying: what the hell?!
A week of 30-ish new daily followed.
*That* was a kick to the gut after weeks below 20.
Now we've had 425 new #covid19 cases over night.
After a week of 300-ish new each day.
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) November 6, 2020
This comes days after the Public Health Agency of Canada announced new recommendations for three-layer masks.
“Well-designed and well-fitting masks or face coverings can prevent the spread of your infectious respiratory droplets. They may also help protect you from the infectious respiratory droplets of others,” the agency says.
Related video: How COVID-19 has highlighted Canada’s inequities: One-on-one with Dr. Theresa Tam
The three-layer masks should include two layers of tightly woven fabrics, like cotton or linen, with a third, or middle, synthetic layer to act as a filter.
The World Health Organization has recommended three-layer masks since June.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says masks should still be combined with other measures like hand washing and physical distancing. However, she says if you must be near another person, mask up.
“If people are sitting together in an enclosed space, whether that’s carpooling to work together, whether that’s sitting in the lunchroom together, having a break together in a small, enclosed space,” she explains. “There is a continuum of how people are exposed to this virus, and we get it from breathing in droplets that someone has coughed out. And those droplets can be of various sizes.”
-With files from Marcella Bernardo