Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says Canadians will be carrying COVID-19 masks for months to come, comparing mask-wearing to checking the weather, said Blacklock’s Reporter.
“In the months ahead in adjusting to a new way of managing and responding to COVID-19 you might think of checking your local COVID virus activity like checking the weather,” Tam told reporters.
“You would want to check on the weather to put on a coat. So check on the weather and bring your mask with you.”
Tam warned of the “next variant,” saying that even if mask policies are removed in some areas, people must be prepared to “have your mask ready.”
Mask mandates are still in place in all provinces, however Alberta will be lifting the mandate on Monday night.
New Brunswick and Québec regulators will lift a mask mandate for public schools by March 14.
“The public should remember they should be ready to re-engage and get those layers of protection on. We don’t know when. I think monitoring and surveillance is very important,” said Tam.
“I still think masks remain one of the foundational levels of protection and it may be the last thing that you want to remove.”
Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, said mask wearing shouldn’t be governed by mandates.
“There is a distinction to be made between policy in terms of obligatory use of face masks versus a personal empowerment choice you make in terms of wearing a mask because you are concerned for your own protection,” said Njoo.
Njoo told reporters in January that while he personally supports both mask wearing and vaccination, he doesn’t believe either should be mandated by government.
Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard