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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.
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.
"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?
"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.
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