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.