As cases surge across Canada and around the world, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance about face masks.
The CDC said a face mask is an added layer of protection for the person wearing it against COVID-19 — filtering out those infectious droplets — in some cases by 50 per cent.
“It’s a two-way street. You protect others, their mask protects you, and your mask also protects you,” America’s top doctor Anthony Fauci said about the new information.
This development adds to what we have been told previously, that wearing a mask protects others if you happen to be contagious.
Recently Canada’s top doctor suggested people wear three-layer masks.
“We are recommending that you consider a three-layer non-medical mask which includes a middle filter layer,” Dr. Theresa Tam said.
Filters add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 “by trapping small infectious particles,” say recent Canadian guidelines. “Consider wearing a mask that includes a filter or filter material as one of its layers.”
According to the updated guidelines, a mask or face covering can be homemade or purchased and should be made of at least three layers, two of which should be made of a tightly woven fabric, such as cotton or linen, while the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric.
The masks should also be “large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth, and chin without gaping.”
Related video: How COVID-19 has highlighted Canada’s inequities: One-on-one with Dr. Theresa Tam
So far, the new U.S. mask guidelines about effectiveness haven’t been adopted north of the border, however, wearing masks is more widely accepted here.