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COVID-19: U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates guidance on face masks

FILE - Packages of face masks. (CITYNEWS/Tony Fera)
Summary

The U.S. CDC has updated its guidance on face-mask use

CDC says a face mask is an added layer of protection for person wearing it, as well as others

Recently, Canada’s top doctor suggested people wear three-layer masks with a middle filter

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.

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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.