Here's What Mask You Should Be Wearing RN, According To A Couple Of Ontario's Doctors

Bandanas and scarves shouldn't be used as masks, according to one doctor. 😷

Toronto Associate Editor
Here's What Mask You Should Be Wearing RN, According To A Couple Of Ontario's Doctors

In light of the new Omicron variant, some of the province's top doctors and epidemiologists are recommending that Ontarians ensure they are wearing the best masks that they can.

The scientific director of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, Dr. Peter Jüni, told Narcity that there is "a relatively small or perhaps non-existent" difference between a well-fitted, double-layered cloth mask and a well-fitted medical mask.

"So, the first thing which is important is to realize that single-layered masks, bandanas, scarves, all of that are a blast from the past, we shouldn't use it," said Jüni, adding that the minimum should either be a double-layered medical mask, or a double-layered (and cleaned) cloth mask.

Jüni notes that the most important thing with masks, however, is the fit.

"There is no filtration if you have gaps somewhere," he said. "So, you need to make sure that you have a mask with a wire that allows you to mould the shape of the mask along the contours of your nose and face. That's the most important part."

The director of critical cares services at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital, Dr. Michael Warner, thinks Ontarians should be told to upgrade their masks to help reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

"I no longer wear a surgical mask in the hospital," Warner, tweeted on December 15, adding that CA-N95s can be purchased online. "Omicron is/will be everywhere."

Recently the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table posted its updated projections of the epidemiological situation in the province and noted that high-quality masks should be worn to help slow the spread of Omicron.

As of December 15, Public Health Ontario updated its guidance for health care workers caring for Ontarians who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

"Given the undetermined impact of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, the interim recommended PPE when providing direct care for patients with suspect or confirmed COVID-19 includes a fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator (or equivalent or greater protection), eye protection, gown, and gloves," public health officials wrote, adding that well-fitted medical masks would also work.

Earlier this month, Toronto City Council made the call to extend the mask bylaw for the city. This means Torontonians will likely have to continue wearing masks until April 2022, though the City's medical officer of health will review the bylaw each month.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor
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