CTS recommendations regarding the use of face masks by the public during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic
Citation: Bhutani M, Hernandez P, Yang C, Bourbeau J, Licskai C, Dechman G, Van Dam A, Gupta S. CTS recommendations regarding the use of face masks by the public during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. ‘In Press’ – submitted to the Canadian Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine on June 1, 2020.
Summary of recommendations:
- We support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommendation of wearing a homemade non-medical face mask in the community for periods of time when it is not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others.
- We recommend that all patients with underlying lung disease follow this recommendation to reduce the risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- If patients cannot tolerate wearing this added protection, we recommend that they avoid or minimize circumstances in which physical distancing is not possible.
- There is NO evidence that wearing a face mask will exacerbate (cause a ‘flare up’ of) an underlying lung condition.
- We recommend that anyone who uses a face mask familiarize themselves with how to properly put on and take off this equipment.
- It is important that if one is wearing a mask, it should be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment to avoid contaminating the wearer’s hands.
- We remind everyone that wearing a face mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that use of face masks should complement other recommended public health measures, including frequent hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and physical distancing.