After months of effort, it sounds like significant progress has just been made in the battle against COVID-19. A University of Toronto mask test conducted by researchers at the school has confirmed that a certain face covering actually "deactivates" the virus that causes the disease. The mask is made by a Canadian manufacturer based in Quebec.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, July 14, TrioMed Active mask actually "deactivates" 99% of the virus within minutes.

The external surface of the mask, which is made by i3 BioMedical Inc. and touted as the first of its kind, apparently negates COVID-19 in just a few minutes.

U of T scientists have tested the mask and confirmed that it works as intended.

"The TrioMed Active Mask is the first and only respiratory protection that is scientifically proven to deactivate the virus causing COVID-19, therefore drastically reducing the risk of contamination for the wearer," said Pierre Jean Messier, founder and CEO of i3 Biomedical Inc., via the statement.

Messier added that i3 Biomedical Inc. spent "years and millions of dollars" developing antimicrobial technology used in the masks.

You can already get your hands on the single-use and latex-free masks, too.

They're available for purchase at $7.29 in packs of five on the Well.ca website.

The equipment has a five-year shelf life, according to the release.

Investing in some good and long-lasting masks might be a smart idea, too. Ontario Premier Doug Ford suggested on Tuesday that the new normal will likely include wearing face coverings for years to come.

After all, Ford expects that the province's current emergency orders can carry on well into 2021, too.

According to the press release, COVID-19 can easily linger and stay on the outside of the masks for a week, and this technology pretty much prevents that.

These masks don't just sound good for stopping the spread of COVID-19, either.

The release notes that other benefits of these masks include also deactivating 99% of the H1N1 influenza virus.

Masks are increasingly becoming mandatory in many GTA cities and others across the country.

Some cities in Ontario are also issuing fines for those who don't wear them while they're in indoor public spaces. In Ottawa, the fine is $400 for the infraction.

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