Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been some confusion in Canada regarding masks and face coverings. However, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health has come through with some solid advice, and an answer to the question “should I be wearing a mask?” In fact, she’s urging locals to get one ASAP.\nSpeaking earlier this week, Dr. Vera Etches confirmed that wearing a mask is now recommended when people are out and about in the city, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 wherever possible.\n“I do hope that everyone will find a way to purchase a mask, or seek help to get one, because it’s likely that we need to wear a mask to protect others when we go out,” Dr. Vera Etches told CTV News at Six.\n“As we start doing more activities that bring us within two metres of somebody else, that’s when we would like everyone to be wearing a mask,” she added.\nHer comments come as Ontario looks towards reopening a number of services and facilities, including golf courses, national parks and even some stores.\nWhile there was initially some confusion about the effectiveness of face coverings, it seems Ottawa’s health officials now agree that masks are one of the few options available that could actually help prevent serious spreading.\nGlorious day to be outside and wear a mask if maintaining physical distancing might be challenging. Anyone else wearing a homemade mask today and willing to share your look? #OttawaStyle pic.twitter.com/grPZa8gPaT— Dr. Vera Etches (@VeraEtches) May 3, 2020\n“The reality is we don’t have that many tools to continue to suppress infection in our community,” Dr. Etches explained.\n“They are physical distancing and they are using a mask within two metres of others, if that has to happen,” she added.\nThis comes as the City of Toronto has made similar suggestions to residents of the 6ix, asking them to wear masks wherever possible when out and about.\nYou've probably been asking yourself where you can purchase a non-medical mask in Ottawa. In a shocking coincidence, we've now got a section on our website about where you can purchase a non-medical mask in Ottawa: https://t.co/YENC1N4zL9 pic.twitter.com/7Aj93633Vw— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) May 7, 2020\nSharing a similar message to Dr. Etches, Toronto's medical officer of health explained, "In a retail environment, when physical distancing cannot be maintained and you are in close contact with others, a cloth mask or face covering is strongly recommended to keep your germs from spreading to others, even if you have no symptoms."\nWhile Canadians are not asked to wear medical masks, which are required by frontline staff and health care workers, a cloth or homemade fask mask is considered sufficient.\nThere's plenty of options available online, and you can even grab a "speaking moistly" version!\nChallenge accepted, @KeithEgli! If you’re going out in a public place, wearing a mask is a great way to have some extra protection for yourself and others around you. I’m challenging @cathmckenna, @StephenBlais and @DAlfredsson11 to share your #MaskSelfie! https://t.co/O9lf7YdSRs pic.twitter.com/PcszEMqUKx— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) May 14, 2020\nOttawa Mayor Jim Watson has also shared his support for public mask-wearing, by tweeting a photo of himself wearing his own mask.\n"If you’re going out in a public place, wearing a mask is a great way to have some extra protection for yourself and others around you," he wrote.\nAccording to Etches, Ottawa Public Health has started a “mask force,” who are in the process of attempting to tackle the shortage of masks across the city.\nMask up, Ottawa!