Wearing a medical-grade or fabric mask for coronavirus has been a part of precautionary measures since the beginning of the ongoing pandemic. Prior to the current ongoing health crisis, masks have also helped in controlling the transmission of various other pathogens.
At the moment, there is plenty of medical evidence to indicate that face coverings do make a significant distance. In fact, research has also shown that areas where the majority of people strictly wears a mask have the lowest rates of infection and spread.
However, in the recent pandemic, there has been a lot of confusion regarding this practice. Many are not sure which face covering to use for maximum protection from the coronavirus infection out of multiple options.
With more and more studies being conducted on the spread of the virus, the stance on which masks to use for control has changed over time but most experts suggest wearing any kind of mask as it is better than wearing none.
Currently, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people wear a fabric mask for coronavirus in everyday life and leave the medical-grade masks, such as N95 masks, to health care workers and those who are at a much higher risk of catching the infection.
On the other hand, masks with filters and valves are not recommended in accordance with the latest research as they may not be as effective as other masks.
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Now, health experts from Canada are now giving different suggestions to people. More specifically, the Public Health Agency of Canada is asking people to choose three-layer masks which also have a filter to reduce coronavirus transmission rates.
During the agency briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Theresa Tam, who is the Chief Public Health Officer, officially announced the new guideline, saying that people should switch to three-layer masks as more protection is needed in the upcoming months.
Previously, the official instructions stated that two-layer cotton masks can give enough protection but since the transmission risk is going to increase when people start staying indoors, three-layer masks should replace the two-layer masks.
This does not mean that people should toss their masks because they are no longer effective. The new recommendation has only been given to decrease the number of potential new infections, especially during the holiday season.
The latest research present on the transmission of the coronavirus has shown that airborne spread has played a fundamental role in the pandemic. In indoor environments, especially those without proper ventilation can therefore be much riskier.
In the upcoming months, not only are people going to stay indoors in order to protect themselves from the cold but are also more likely to arrange and attend gatherings as well as events.
Hence, being extra precautions and following all preventive measures is important to stop multiple outbreaks of coronavirus. In addition to wearing a mask, people should also remember to maintain distance during gatherings.
Similarly, avoiding physical contact, washing hands, and cutting down time spent outdoors generally can also bring down the chances of catching the coronavirus infection significantly.