Canada's top doctor now recommends 3-layer masks — here's where to shop for them

Alyssa Tria
·Shopping Editor
·3-min read

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Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer now recommends 3-layer non-medical masks (Getty Images)
Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer now recommends 3-layer non-medical masks (Getty Images)

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There is no evidence to support that wearing a face mask will protect you from COVID-19. You should still avoid touching your face, washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds using warm water and soap and practice social distancing.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is now advising Canadians to wear three-layer non-medical masks, which feature a filter layer, for additional prevention against the spread of COVID-19.

ALSO SEE: 16 stylish designer face masks to shop right now

According to recently updated guidelines, masks should be made with at least multi-layers of tightly woven fabric, preferably cotton or linen, and should include an additional third layer of filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric.

"To improve the level of protection that can be provided by non-medical masks or face coverings, we are recommending that you consider a three-layer nonmedical mask," said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam during a bi-weekly pandemic briefing in Ottawa Tuesday.

ALSO SEE: 12 popular face masks for adults to keep you protected this season

"This is an additional recommendation just to add another layer of protection. The science of masks has really accelerated during this particular pandemic,” she added. “So we're just learning again as we go."

While this is a new recommendation for Canadians, the World Health Organization has recommended the use of three layers for non-medical masks since June.

So what does that mean for already-purchased two-ply masks without filters?

ALSO SEE: Can a neck gaiter protect you against spreading COVID-19? Plus everything you need to know about selecting the right mask

"We're not necessarily saying just throw out everything that you have," Tam told reporters, suggesting that the emerging science reveals that an extra layer for a filter can help with protection by trapping small infectious particles. Reusable masks with a non-woven filter layer should be washed daily and can be washed multiple times. Importantly, all face masks should be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping and allow for easy breathing.

If you’re looking to add some new masks to your arsenal, check out these three-layer ones below.

Adult Contour Mask with Filter Pocket (3-Pack)

Adult Contour Mask with Filter Pocket (3-Pack)
Adult Contour Mask with Filter Pocket (3-Pack)

SHOP IT: Gap, 18 (originally $24)

Variety 5-Pack of Triple-Layer Cloth Pleated Face Masks for Adults (with Ear Adjusters)

Variety 5-Pack of Triple-Layer Cloth Pleated Face Masks for Adults (with Ear Adjusters)
Variety 5-Pack of Triple-Layer Cloth Pleated Face Masks for Adults (with Ear Adjusters)

SHOP IT: Old Navy, $15

Adult Reusable, Washable Cloth Face Mask With Filter Pocket

Adult Reusable, Washable Cloth Face Mask With Filter Pocket
Adult Reusable, Washable Cloth Face Mask With Filter Pocket

SHOP IT: Weddingstar, $13 (originally $17)

ASOS DESIGN 3 Pack Organic Cotton Triple-layer Jersey Face-covering

ASOS DESIGN 3 Pack Organic Cotton Triple-layer Jersey Face-covering
ASOS DESIGN 3 Pack Organic Cotton Triple-layer Jersey Face-covering

SHOP IT: ASOS, $26

EnerPlex Premium 3-Ply Reusable Face Mask

EnerPlex Premium 3-Ply Reusable Face Mask
EnerPlex Premium 3-Ply Reusable Face Mask

SHOP IT: Amazon, $27

3-Layer Face Mask

3-Layer Face Mask
3-Layer Face Mask

SHOP IT: Reitmans, $10

UA SPORTSMASK

UA SPORTSMASK
UA SPORTSMASK

SHOP IT: Under Armour, $30

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