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CTS statement regarding the use of face masks by the public during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic

Updated recommendations – Version 3.0 – December 2021

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Summary of recommendations

  • We support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) recommendation of wearing a face mask in the community for periods of time when one has exposure to other individuals, particularly in an indoor space. Consult PHAC’s website for more information on the recommendations on the types and uses of face masks approved for use in Canada.
  • 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 vaccination, frequent hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and physical distancing.
  • We recommend that all individuals with underlying lung disease follow PHAC’s recommendation for vaccination against COVID-19 combined with other public health measures including the use of well-fitted medical or non-medical masks to reduce the risk of spreading or becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Consult PHAC’s website on how to make your mask fit properly.
  • If individuals cannot tolerate wearing this added protection, we recommend that they avoid or minimize circumstances in which they are in an enclosed indoor space with other individuals, particularly if some of those individuals are not fully vaccinated.
  • There is NO evidence that wearing a face mask will exacerbate (cause a ‘flare up’ of) or aggravate 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 face mask, it should be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment to avoid contaminating the wearer’s hands. In addition, proper care for your mask is important to maintain its effectiveness. Please refer to the PHAC website on the proper use and care of your mask.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and recommendations may change as the science informs us. We recommend to routinely visit our COVID-19 website for updates at

How to wear a non-medical mask or face covering properly

Public Health Agency of Canada

NEW VIDEO – CBC News – Dr. Samir Gupta: Simple hacks to make your face mask more effective