The weather is getting way warmer, and more people are heading outside. What does the increasingly hot air mean for the current health crisis, though? Dr. Theresa Tam may have recommended that Canadians wear masks, but now she has advised against wearing them in extreme heat.

In a May 28 Twitter thread, Canada's public health officer wrote that wearing a face-covering in extreme heat or humidity can cause difficulty breathing. She said that while outdoors, physical distancing is still the safest thing to do.

"Reserve non-medical mask for use indoors, for short periods of time when #PhysicalDistancing cannot be maintained," Tam wrote.

She continued, writing that non-medical masks and face-coverings should not be used on children under two years of age.

They also should not be left on anyone who is having trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the mask on their own.

She concluded by reminding people of some common sense practices for when the weather starts to get hot and humid.

That includes drinking lots of water and avoiding any strenuous activity.

These also go hand-in-hand with current public health practices related to COVID-19, including maintaining physical distance, washing your hands, and practicing proper cough etiquette.

On May 20, Dr. Tam made the recommendation that 
Canadians should wear masks whenever they are in a situation where they are unable to consistently stay two metres away from others.

However, she had also previously tweeted about reserving masks for short periods of use in extreme heat.

This advice is more important than ever as Canada continues to heat up heading into summer. 

Toronto had already issued a heat warning this week, and Ottawa became the hottest spot in the country with temperatures feeling like 39 with the humidex.

The 6ix can also expect plenty of rain from a tropical storm rolling through before temperatures drop down to a high of just 14 on Sunday.


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