Requirements to wear a cloth face mask, by country is evolving. Starting in Asia, acceptance has spread worldwide. This is an evolving situation, with more countries mandating use with time and social acceptance.
Maskenpflicht (mask duty) in German
Government Guidance Articles
- EU: Austria: Austria, in a shift, requires mask-wearing in supermarkets to cut pandemic’s spread
- Czech Republic: Czechs get to work making masks after government decree: Slovakia and the Czech Republic require masks in public
“The Czech Republic is one of the few in Europe that has significantly slowed down the spread of the virus,” the narrator says. “The main difference is that everyone who has to leave their house has to wear a mask…
“The students are making hundreds and hundreds of masks,” said Alice Klouzkova, an assistant and teacher at the academy’s fashion design studio. “Most of them have sewing machines at home and are happy to work with their hands. It’s important that the material is made with 100% cotton so it can be sterilised.””
- Germany, Jena: In ‘Big Adjustment,’ Some European Countries Push For Residents To Wear Masks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that masks should be worn on public transport and in shops as Germany cautiously begins to ease curbs imposed to halt contagion of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is recommended that masks be used in public transport and while shopping,” Merkel told journalists after talks with regional leaders from Germany’s 16 states.
Jena, a city in eastern Germany, announced this week that within several days it will be compulsory to wear a mask in supermarkets and on public transit — but the German government as a whole has issued no such recommendation.
- Germany: Germany recommends face masks in shops and public transport
New rules have come into force legally requiring most people in Germany to wear face masks on public transport, long-distance trains and in shops…
A poll by the Kantar market research institute found that acceptance for mask wearing was extremely high, with 97% of those asked saying they supported the rule and recognised the importance of keeping it to help tackle coronavirus.
- Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina: Should all Americans be wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus? Trump, Fauci are closer to saying yes: The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina now require people to wear masks in public, while Austria requires their use in grocery stores.
- Italy, Lombardi: Lombardy insists on face masks outside homes to stop Covid-19: Extremely late, after so much carnage, but better than never
Authorities in Lombardy, the Italian region worst affected by coronavirus, have introduced a law obliging citizens to wear face masks when they go outside…
Lombardy’s president, Attilio Fontana, announcing the new law there, said people should “cover their mouths and noses” with a simple scarf, saying it would help “prevent you from spreading the virus if you happen to be a carrier”…
The Lombardy law will be in place at least until 13 April, when Italy’s lockdown is due to expire.
- France: Abrupt reversals on face mask policy raise new questions
France’s Académie Nationale de Médecine (Academy of Medicine) announced Friday that a mask should be compulsory during outings both during and after the current lockdown.
- France sets €135 fine for no mask on public transport: France makes mask wearing compulsory for public transit and school buses, effective 2020 May 11
- Britain UK: Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport: From 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England.
- US: California Department of Public Health: page does not respond
City of San Diego:
4/2 Press Conference Updates:
Mandatory non-medical-grade masks to be worn by workers at businesses that interact with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations source
The order will make it mandatory for businesses that interact with the public to use cloth face coverings for their employees starting Saturday; that includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and restaurants…
The general public will not be required to wear facial coverings but will be urged to do so when out in public for essential activities, according to the new order.
Medical-grade masks should not be used but homemade masks, bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters are acceptable since the items can be washed and reused. source
- Los Angeles: City of L.A. guidance on wearing face coverings in public
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Los Angeles has issued new guidance to L.A. residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in public…
Early data suggests that many who are infected with COVID-19 are not symptomatic, which is why we recommend all members of the public wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities.
- california, Orange CountyBusiness owners and some government officials face anger and threats over face mask requirements.
When Dr. Nichole Quick, the health officer in Orange County, Calif., issued an order requiring all residents to wear masks when in public last month, the backlash was swift — and personal…
By last week, Dr. Quick had resigned as county health officer, and county officials had reversed the order, making face coverings optional in the county of 3 million, where new reported cases and hospitalizations have trended slightly upward…
The abrupt turnaround is perhaps one of the most pronounced examples of the backlash facing officials who promote face mask requirements, as face masks increasingly become a flash point. Support for face masks has often fallen along partisan lines, despite federal health recommendations and recent research that suggest that face masks could be critical to stopping the spread of the virus. Mr. Trump has largely declined to wear a mask in public.
Officials and business owners alike have faced pushback. In the Houston area, the county judge was sued over an order requiring face masks. Costco faced threats of boycotts over a similar requirement for its stores. And in Stillwater, Okla., north of Oklahoma City, an order requiring residents to wear face masks inside stores and restaurants was quickly rescinded last month, after an uprising among customers.
- California orders people to wear masks in most indoor spaces
California on Thursday started requiring people throughout the state to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing isn’t possible as the coronavirus continues to spread…
The state order requires people to wear masks when inside or in line for any indoor public spaces, in health care settings like hospitals and pharmacies, while waiting for or riding public transportation, and in outdoor spaces where it’s not possible to stay six feet (1.8 meters) apart from others.
- New York City: Face Coverings:Frequently Asked Questions
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends that all New Yorkers wear a face covering when outside of their hometo help stop the spread ofcoronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19).
- New York State: New York Orders Residents to Wear Masks in Public
Imposing a stricter measure to control the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday that he would start requiring people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public whenever social distancing was not possible.
The order will take effect on Friday and will apply to people who are unable to keep six feet away from others in public settings, such as on a bus or subway, on a crowded sidewalk or inside a grocery store.
- Maryland: Marylanders are required to wear a face mask. How do you make one? And other frequently asked mask questions.
Officials in Maryland will begin enforcing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation that people wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths when they enter public places such as grocery stores to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
- New Jersey: New Jersey orders residents to wear masks in grocery stores, N.J.’s new coronavirus rules for grocery shopping. Masks, store limits, everything you need to know.
- Pennsylvania: Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations
B.In addition to the above, the following measures apply to businesses, other than health care providers, that serve the public within a building or a defined area:…
(6)require all customers to wear masks while on premises,and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of such goods;however, individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition(including children under the age of 2 years per CDC guidance)may enter the premises and are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition;
- Illinois: Guidance on the Use of Masks by the General Public
All Illinoisans should wear as mask or face covering when they must leave their home or report to work for essential operations and they either cannot or it is impractical to maintain 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others. Examples include:
- Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies,
- Picking up food from the drive thru or curbside pickup,
- While visiting your health care provider,
- Traveling on public transportation,
- Interacting with customers, clients, or coworkers at essential businesses,
- Performing essential services for state and local government agencies, such as laboratory testing, where close interactions with other people are unavoidable, and
- When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.
Probably the best press release of any government body so far. Clear information, with examples, and the reasoning behind the requirement.
- Florida: Florida does not have a mandate by the Governor of Florida specific to facial coverings. This is covered by each individual city and thus varies.
- Florida, Palm Beach: Palm Beach, Order No. 2020-004:
All other persons physically present in any public place in Palm Beach County are strongly urged to wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC
- Florida, Monroe: Monroe County
5. Covering of Nose and Mouth. Except as provided herein, effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 04, 2020:
a Except as provided for in paragraph 3g, all employees and customers of businesses shann be required to wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times while inside such business. All individuals providing delivery services shall wear a form of covering over their nose and moutn while making deliveries.
- Florida, Miami-Dade: Miami-Dade
1. Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehiclesfor hire and locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC
- Florida, North Miami: North Miami
Section 1.Covering of Nose and Mouth.
a) Except as provided herein, all employees and customers of grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies and restaurants arerequiredto wear a form of covering over their noses and mouths,at all times,whileinside the grocery store, hardware store, pharmacy or restaurant facility. All individuals providing delivery services shall wear a form of covering over their noses and mouths while making deliveries.
- Florida, Miami Beach: Miami Beach, original doc
ALL employees and patrons visiting essential retail and commercial businesses must wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times. If you are visiting one of our open parks/greenspaces and/or beachwalks/baywalks, you must wear a face covering at all times, unless engaging in strenuous physical activity or exercise. This does not apply to children under the age of 2 or person’s who have trouble breathing due to chronic pre-existing conditions. All individuals providing delivery services to the public must wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth while making deliveries.
- Florida, Jacksonville, Duval Jacksonville changes course, issues face mask mandate
The order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday will be for indoor locations only, a city spokeswoman said. It will not be required outdoors, for anyone under 2 years old, for anyone with breathing problems or while at a table at a restaurant.
City officials said the beaches area is included in the mandate and masks are required anywhere inside where people are unable to socially distance.
- Florida, Broward BROWARD COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR’S EMERGENCY ORDER 20-07
Section 1.All persons who are providing essential services, as defined by the Governor’s Executive prder 20-91, as amended, shall wear a facial covering during in-person interactions with the public. Members of the public shall use a facial covering when obtaining essential services.
- Florida, Gadsden Gadsden County reinstates mandatory mask-wearing order, effective 2020 May 22
- Colorado, Denver: Wearing & Making Face Coverings
As of Wednesday, May 6, 2020, face coverings are mandatory while inside of or waiting in line to enter any retail or commercial business, or any location or facility offering government of health care services, and waiting for or riding on public transportation.
- Colorado: Executive Order D 2020 138, Guidance for wearing masks, effective 2020 Jul 16
Under Executive Order D 2020 110, mask wearing is mandatory for employees,
contractors, and others providing services for Mass Transportation Operations and Critical
Businesses as well as for State and county employees and the individuals they serve at
Government Offices and Facilities. These requirements remain intact with this Executive Order.
This Executive Order amends and extends Executive Orders D 2020 039, D 2020 067, D
2020 092, and D 2020 110 to protect Coloradans by requiring individuals in Colorado to wear a
non-medical face covering over their nose and mouth, subject to several exceptions…
Except as permitted by Paragraphs L, M, and N, below, all individuals over ten
(10) years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering
or moving within any Public Indoor Space, as such term is defined in Paragraph R
of this Executive Order, or while using or waiting to use the services of any taxi,
bus, light rail, train, car service, ride-sharing or similar service, or Mass
- Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texans in most counties to wear masks in public
The order requires Texans living in counties more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible.
- Texas, Bexar County As Cases Surge, Arizona Switches Course and Lets Cities Require Masks
Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, is ordering businesses to require employees and customers to wear face masks when they are unable to observe social distancing. County Judge Nelson Wolff issued the order Wednesday, a day after the county confirmed 436 new cases, its biggest single-day increase.
- Texas, Dallas SUPPLEMENTALORDER OF COUNTY JUDGE CLAY JENKINSON CONTINUING REQUIREMENTS AFTER EXPIRATION OF STAY HOME, STAY SAFEDATE ORDER ISSUED: June 19, 2020
The Health and Safety Policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees or visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible…
ll people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other coworkers.
- Texas, El Paso COVID-19 UpdateCity Reports Three Deaths,AmendsDirectives and Expands Testing
are amending the current Local Emergency Directive to make face coverings mandatory…
All individuals over the age of two (2), are required to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence.
- Michigan: Executive Order 2020-110 (COVID-19) (June 1, 2020): starting 2020 June 08
4. Any individual who leaves his or her home or place of residence must:
b. Wear a face covering over his or her nose and mouth—such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space, unless the individual is unable medically to tolerate a face covering.
1. An individual may be required to temporarily remove a face covering upon entering an enclosed public space for identification purposes. An individual may also remove a face covering to eat or drink when seated at a restaurant or bar.
2. Businesses and building owners, and those authorized to act on their behalf, are permitted to deny entry or access to any individual who refuses to comply with the rule in this subsection (b). Businesses and building owners will not be subject to a claim that they have violated the covenant of quiet enjoyment, to a claim of frustration of purpose, or to similar claims for denying entry or access to a person who refuses to comply with this subsection (b).
- Maine: Governor Mills Extends Maine’s Stay At Home Order: April 29, 2020
Additionally, and as Governor Mills also announced yesterday, the order requires Maine people to wear cloth face coverings in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, as recommended by the U.S. CDC. The order identifies public settings as: indoor spaces that are accessible to the public such as grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies and health care facilities; outdoor spaces such as playgrounds, busy parking lots, and other areas such as lines for take-out service where the public typically gathers in a smaller area; and public transportation such as a taxi, Uber, Lyft, ride-sharing or similar service; ferry, bus, or train; and any semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area… This requirement is effective Friday, May 1st.
- Delaware: Governor Carney Requires Delawareans to Wear Face Coverings in Public Settings
Under Governor Carney’s modified order, businesses must also take certain steps to keep their employees and customers safe.
By 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1, businesses must:
- Require employees to wear a face covering while working in areas open to the public and in areas where coming within 6 feet of other staff is likely.
- Provide, at the business’ expense, face coverings and hand sanitizer for their employees.
- Deny entry to individuals who do not have a face covering – or if one is not available for them.
- If any business denying entry is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, the business must provide alternate methods of pickup or delivery.
- Massachusetts Wear a Mask in Public
Governor Baker has issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Any person who is in a place open to the public in the Commonwealth, when unable to maintain a distance of approximately six feet from every other person, shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering. Masks are required at all times when:
- Inside or waiting in line outside of grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retail stores;
- Providing or using the services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing, or similar service;
- On any form of public transit, including train or bus; and
- In an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area.
- Arizona: Phoenix Phoenix Requires Face Coverings
The declaration goes into effect on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 6 a.m. and requires every person in the city of Phoenix, ages six and over, shall cover their nose and mouth whenever they are away from their home or residence and within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household.
Any business whose employees cannot observe physical distancing, must require face coverings; including those that interact with the public. Businesses also have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering.
- Arizona Tuscon, Pima County: Supervisors enact Countywide face mask rule
The Pima County Board of Supervisors June 19 voted 3-2 to enact a countywide public health protection resolution requiring the wearing of face coverings when in public if 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained. The Board took the action on the advice of the Back to Business Road to Recovery subcommittee, which is comprised of public health experts and physicians who specifically noted their concern about the recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the county.
The rule is effective immediately and applies to everyone over the age of 5. It’s applicable in all public places, which are defined as: “[A]ny place, indoor or outdoor, that is open to the public and includes, but is not limited to, businesses or other establishments where people assemble or members of the general public may enter; offices; public buildings, highways and parks, and public transportation including taxis and ride sharing.”
- Arizona, Scottsdale: Masks mandatory in Scottsdale beginning June 19
…The proclamation requires people to cover nose and mouth within all public accommodations within the city, which includes grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and bars, gyms and similar facilities, retail stores, special events and public transit. Businesses that interact with the public must require employees to wear face coverings as well.
- Alabama, Montgomery Executive order
Effective at 5 PM on Friday June 19, 2020 face coverings or masks are required in public places in the City of Montgomery
…Be it ordered by the Mayor of Montgomery that face coverings or “masks” shall be required in public places within the city to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, known as CoVid-19.
effective 2020 Jul 16
- Alabama: Governor Ivey Issues Amended Safer at Home Order
Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued…an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until July 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
- District of Columbia: Mayor’s Order 2020-066, May 13, 2020
- Kansas: Governor Laura Kelly Announces Masks Must be Worn Statewide
Governor Laura Kelly today announced that she will sign an Executive Order requiring that most Kansans in a public space must wear a mask, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3…
Under the order, most Kansans must wear masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and in any situation in which social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, including outside.
- Louisiana: Gov. Edwards Orders Statewide Mask Mandate, Closes Bars to On Premises Consumption as COVID-19 Continues to Spread Across Louisiana
- Nevada: Gov. Sisolak announces mandatory face covering policy in public
Per this requirement, anyone in any public space throughout the State, including visitors, will need to wear a mask. This includes using public transportation, public facing work environments, when patronizing businesses, or interacting with others in any generally publicly accessible space.
- Washington State: Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings from the Washington State Department of Health
- Arkansas Arkansas’ governor issues executive statewide order requiring masks
Arkansans must wear a mask when you cannot social distance up to six feet. It involves both indoor and outdoor settings. The mandate requires anyone older than ten to wear a mask. Exceptions include while eating, at athletic events and or if a job is impossible to do while wearing a mask. It goes into effect Monday, July 20
- Wisconsin: EMERGENCY ORDER #1 Relating to preventing the spread of COVID-19 by requiring face coverings in certain situations Effective 2020 Aug 01
FACE COVERING REQUIRED. Every individual, age five and older, in Wisconsin shall wear a face covering if both of the following apply:
- a.The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and;
- b.Another person or persons who are not members of individual’s householdor living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space.
- New Hampshire: State of New Hampshire, Executive Order 63: An order requiring face coverings for certain scheduled gatherings of 100 or more individuals, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to COVID-19
- Canada: Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission
In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
- Canada: Tam offers new advice: wear a non-medical mask when shopping or using public transit: Finally, only after the WHO and CDC
- Canada’s top doctor says non-medical masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19
- Canada’s medical chief finally tells public that masks can help prevent Covid-19 spreading
Therefore, we will no longer discourage people from wearing masks . Wearing a mask may help to protect others, in case you have the virus but don’t know it. This is so that you keep your droplets to yourself – when you sneeze or speak or cough. It can also protect yourself a little better, especially if you are elderly, or vulnerable because of pre-existing health conditions.
- Legault hopes Quebeckers ‘make a habit’ of wearing masks, but won’t make it mandatory yet: Quebec is planning for mandatory masks at least for public transit.
Quebec Premier François Legault says there is no legal barrier to making wearing masks mandatory in some locations, such as public transit, but the province first needs to make sure face coverings are more widely available.
Quebec is the first Canadian jurisdiction where the idea of mandating the use of masks in public, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, has been discussed in such explicit detail.
Mr. Legault said wearing masks in public will be a necessary step in a broader return to regular activities because increased public transit ridership would make it impossible to maintain physical-distancing rules…
One opposition leader, Pascal Bérubé of the Parti Québécois, urged the premier to make masks mandatory in Montreal’s transit system and public places.
- Quebec: Wearing a mask or a face covering in public settings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
From July 18, 2020, wearing a mask or face covering that covers the nose and mouth is also mandatory in enclosed or partially enclosed public places for people age 12 and over. This obligation, with exceptions, will apply in the following places:
- a retail business;
- a service company;
- a professional’s private office;
- a place where municipal or government services are offered;
- a personal care business (e.g., hairdressers, beauty care) ;
- a shopping mall;
- a place of worship;
- a place where cultural or entertainment activities or services are offered (e.g., movie theatre, concert hall, etc.);
- a rental room or other venue used to host events, such as conferences and conventions;
- a place where sports or recreational activities are practiced;
- a restaurant or bar;
- a common area, including an elevator, of a tourist accommodation establishment;
- educational institution (except pre-school, primary and secondary schools), including colleges and universities;
- a train or bus station, a river station, a metro station or an airport.
Wearing a mask or face covering is also mandatory to access or move around a lobby, reception area or elevator in an office building other than an apartment building.
- Ontario: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen: Reopening for 2020 May 19
…the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible…
- Ottawa: Ottawa to become 1st Canadian city to make masks ‘mandatory’ on transit: Effective 2020 June 15
- Ottawa: effective 2020 Jul 07
As Medical Officer of Health, the following are my instructions, pursuant to O. Reg 263/20 s.4(2) (or as current), to all employersand persons responsible for businesses or organizations within the City of Ottawa, effective July 7, 2020 as of 12:01 am:1.
(1) Every Operatoriof an Enclosed Public Spaceiishall adopt a policy to ensure that no member of the public is permitted to enter or remain in the public areas of the Enclosed Public Space unless he or she is wearing a Maskiiiin a manner that covers their nose, mouth and chin
- Toronto: Toronto to make face coverings mandatory on public transit, will hand out 1M masks to riders: Proposed effective 2020 July 02, still requires approval
- Toronto: City council votes to make masks mandatory in public in Toronto: Effective 2020 Jul 07
- Toronto: Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw
- York Region, Markham Mandatory Use of Face Masks and Coverings
Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 as of 12:01 a.m., business owners and operators in York Region must have a policy in place to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a face mask or covering. Customers, employees and visitors who enter enclosed public spaces must wear a face mask or covering.
- Guelph, Wellington: Masks must be worn in Guelph or Wellington County, medical officer of health says: Commercial establishments must prohibit people from entering if they’re not wearing masks. Dr. Nicola Mercer of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health issued an order this morning that says commercial establishments must make sure people entering and remaining on their premises wear a mask or face covering.
- Mississauga: https://www.mississauga.com/news-story/10019616-mississauga-to-require-face-masks-on-miway-transit-but-rule-unenforceable-city-staff-says/Mississauga to require face masks on MiWay transit, but rule ‘unenforceable’ city staff says
- Ontario: Kingston Kingston issues face-mask order after COVID-19 outbreak at nail salon
Dr. Moore issued a public-health order on Friday making face masks mandatory in all indoor public places in the Kingston region, including grocery stores, restaurants, hair and nail salons, and on public transit. Businesses can be fined up to $5,000 a day for violating the order.
- New Brunswick: New Brunswick eases COVID-19 restrictions, but not precautions
…face masks will be required in public if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Newfoundland: Masks to be mandatory indoors in public starting Aug. 24 in N.L.
- Winnipeg, Manitoba Manitoba makes masks mandatory in Winnipeg as COVID-19 cases surge
- WHO: World Health Organisation reverses course, now supports wearing face masks in public
- WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 5 June 2020
Here is what’s new:
- In areas with widespread transmission, WHO advises medical masks for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility, not only workers dealing with patients with COVID-19…
- Second, in areas with community transmission, we advise that people aged 60 years or over, or those with underlying conditions, should wear a medical mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible….
- In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.
These two new additional requirements, that all medical staff wear masks who are in clinical areas, as well as all people 60yo and above wear medical masks, will increase demand for medical masks.
Based on this new research, WHO advises that fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different material. Details of which materials we recommend for each layer are in the guidelines.
- Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19
The ideal combination of material for non-medical masks should include three layers as follows: 1) an innermost layer of a hydrophilic material (e.g. cotton or cotton blends); 2), an outermost layer made of hydrophobic material (e.g., polypropylene, polyester, or their blends) which may limit external contamination from penetration through to the wearer’s nose and mouth; 3) a middle hydrophobic layer of synthetic non-woven material such as polyproplylene or a cotton layer which may enhance filtration or retain droplets.
- Singapore: When should I wear a mask?
Wear a mask if you are out and in close contact with others. Here’s where to collect your reusable mask
- Singapore: Singapore makes face masks compulsory as coronavirus infections surge to 3,252 amid mass testing of migrant workers
Prime Minister Lee, in his address to nation on 3 Apr on COVID-19 situation
- Hong Kong: Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) (Public Transport) Regulation gazetted
- Hong Kong: Wearing Masks in Public Places
On July 22, the Secretary for Food and Health issued the direction according to the Regulation to mandate the wearing of mask for the period from July 23 to August 5 in the following specified public places –
- public transport carrier or MTR paid area;
- all indoor public places, where “indoor” is defined based on the relevant interpretation under the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371);
- public transport facilities designated as no smoking areas as set out in the Schedule to the Smoking (Public Health) (Designation of No Smoking Areas) Notice (Cap. 371, sub. leg. D); and
- public places that are bus interchanges and adjoining facilities designated as no smoking areas as set out in item 21 of Schedule 2 to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371).
- Israel: Israelis required to wear face masks when out in public
Israelis are required to wear faces masks when venturing outside in accordance with a new Health Ministry directive that came into effect on Sunday morning. The measure was approved by the government this past week.
Under the new rules, masks must be worn when leaving home and should cover the nose and the mouth…
The masks can be homemade, makeshift, or bought, according to the authorities. The order had previously been issued as a recommendation.
- Turkey: Turkey Orders All Citizens to Wear Masks as Infections Rise
- India: New Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradash Major Indian cities make mask-wearing compulsory amid virus fears
- Every Hong Kong resident to get a reusable mask as city turns corner in pandemic fight to start gradual easing of Covid-19 curbs: Reusable masks with an inner replaceable filter
- Nigeria, Lagos: Face mask use compulsory in public from April 25 in Lagos state /update 17
On Sunday, April 25, Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that the wearing of face masks in public has been made mandatory statewide in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The state has been placed under complete containment since the end of March.
- Qatar: Qatar enforces mandatory masks or prison
Qatar on Sunday began enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment for failing to wear masks in public…
- Australia, Victoria: Face coverings mandatory for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire effective 2020 Jul 22
People living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and will now be required to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four reasons, following a concerning increase in coronavirus cases in recent days.
- More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection
- Chinese scientist advises people in Europe, US to wear face masks in public
- Coronavirus: should I make my own mask? How home-made ones may help stop Covid-19 spread
- US starts to change its thinking on wearing protective masks
- End Canada’s face mask misdirection. It is preposterous
- COVID-19: WHY WE SHOULD ALL WEAR MASKS — THERE IS NEW SCIENTIFIC RATIONALE
Absence of evidence (of protection) is not evidence of absence…
Given that the upper respiratory tract is the major site for SARS-Cov-2 entry into human tissues, wearing simple face masks which exert a barrier function that blocks those big projectile droplets that land in the nose or throat may substantially reduce the production rate R
- A collection of face mask articles in Google Docs, which might be busy
- To mask or not to mask: WHO makes U-turn while US, Singapore abandon pandemic advice and tell citizens to start wearing masks
- Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What’s The Best Way To Wear One?
- Sew much demand: Suddenly, homemade masks are a booming cottage industry
- White House Debates How Far to Go on Face Mask Guidelines
- Coronavirus FAQs: Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What’s The Best Way To Wear One?
- Bow ties to face masks: German firms shift gears in coronavirus crisis
- Calls grow for Germany-wide use of face masks
- Theresa Tam issues new guidance on the wearing of masks, so here’s what you need to know
The CDC recommendation came after new evidence that there is significant transmission by people not showing any symptoms of COVID-19 – as many as 25 per cent of those infected, CDC director Robert Redfield told Atlanta’s WABE 90.1 FM radio station in an interview last week. As well, he said those who do become symptomatic appear to shed the virus “probably up to 48 hours” before showing symptoms.
“This helps explain how rapidly this virus continues to spread across the country, because we have asymptomatic transmitters and we have individuals who are transmitting 48 hours before they become symptomatic,” Dr. Redfield said.
- Advice on masks is changing as coronavirus knowledge evolves
- Dr. John Campbell’s To mask or not to mask: explains the continuum of projected breathing, cough or sneeze releases both droplet and aerosolized virus, thus a mask is very useful for controlling this
- What We Need to Understand About Asymptomatic Carriers if We’re Going to Beat Coronavirus
In recent days, there’s been a new enthusiasm for masks, with many calling for widespread use among the general public. The idea there is that masks could help prevent droplets from traveling far, particularly from an asymptomatic person who doesn’t yet realize they’re infected.
Leung, from the University of Hong Kong, is a fan of this idea. “Wear a mask, preferably universally in public spaces,” he said, when I asked him how to solve the problem of asymptomatic transmission.
- N95, surgical face mask or DIY? Experts say ‘something better than nothing’
“The other use of masks is to stop the spread of the illness by carriers of the virus, referred as ‘source control’, who in the case of coronavirus may well be asymptomatic,” Chughtai said.
“If a high rate of transmission is ongoing in the community, like in the US now, people should use masks, because we know there is a high level of asymptomatic cases. For source control, you can use any mask – even cloth masks are fine.” source
Experts warn, however, that cloth coverings should be properly fitted snugly to the face and they should be washed after use.
- Why that about-face on wearing masks is a problem
We may lack some gold-standard study to support general masking, but if that’s the standard of evidence we’ve been waiting for—well, I have some bad news about social distancing.
We are engaged in a massive, global experiment in how to curb the worst effects of a pandemic. Almost every measure we’re employing to that end is theoretical.
- What’s the Best Material for a Mask?
- The Face Mask Debate Reveals a Scientific Double Standard: No one complained about the lack of evidence for 20-second hand-washing. So why did we treat face masks differently?
- How NOT to Wear a Mask: Wearing a face mask takes some getting used to. To get the most benefit, you need to avoid these common mistakes.
- Coronavirus kills some people and hardly affects others: How is that possible?
This new understanding about the role of “silent spreaders” is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities are now suggesting that people wear masks when they leave the house. The recommendation is primarily designed to keep asymptomatic people from unwittingly spreading a disease they may not even know they have.
- Mask-Wearing, Common in Asia, Spreads in the West
- The Social Distancer’s Guide to Urban Etiquette and Ethics
There’s been a lot of mixed messaging on masks…wearing even homemade face coverings on trips outside can have multiple benefits: If worn correctly, covering your mouth and nose can prevent you from contracting the virus, spreading it, and touching your face. Even the CDC has since revised its skepticism, issuing a national recommendation on April 3 for everyone in the U.S. to start wearing them in public…
And here’s another thing. You know all these protocols we’ve been covering about staying six feet apart? Well, some experts say droplets from strong coughs and sneezes can travel 20 feet. So if you just distance and you don’t wear a mask, well, you do the math.
- Germany eyes some normality after bringing coronavirus outbreak ‘under control’
There is no universal requirement to wear protective face masks but instead a strong recommendation to do so.
- In Japan, dirty face masks spark online backlash against prime minister
- The TRUTH about FACE MASKS (KN95) for CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Good info about various types of face masks, what to watch out for, getting product from China, and how we can all encourage domestic manufacturers to produce face masks
- Nose is a point of entry for coronavirus as West reinforces early Chinese research
- ‘We’re dogs without tails’: how face masks affect human interaction – and what to do about it
- Masks protect the wearer, too – and lower our risk for contracting COVID-19
- Mike Pence flouts hospital policy and goes maskless in Mayo Clinic visit
On April 13, Mayo Clinic announced that all patients and visitors would need to wear a face covering or mask to slow the spread of Covid-19, based on advice from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. According to that CDC guidance, wearing masks in public can lower the risks of transmitting the virus, including from people who show no symptoms of the virus.
- Airborne Coronavirus Detected in Wuhan Hospitals
The paper did not state whether people passing through those areas were wearing masks, which would block much of the virus a sick person breathes out.
- ‘We follow the science’: UK government resists public face mask rules in coronavirus battle
- In a pop-up lab in Beijing, this firm is trying to clean up China’s murky face mask industry
- How the face mask became the world’s most coveted commodity
- African factories in race to produce face masks, ventilators as health crisis worsens
- Poll shows less than half of Canadians wear masks or gloves when out in public
- Face masks become China’s key back-to-school accessory
- Researchers are working on reusable face masks to protect against coronavirus
- What to know about masks as Canada slowly emerges from lockdown
- To mask or not to mask? World leaders scrutinised over face coverings
- Montreal’s transit authority strongly recommends passengers wear face masks
- DOCTOR REVEALS TRUTH ABOUT MASKS: Why Healthcare Workers Are Catching COVID-19
- After Covid-19 ordeal, tenor Warren Mok regrets not wearing a mask – ‘I think that’s how I got sick’
- China’s Coronavirus Back-to-Work Lessons: Masks and Vigilance
Many of the new workplace rules are obvious: Use disinfectants and masks and keep your distance from colleagues…
“Nowadays, we definitely still wear face masks,” Mr. Zhang said. “But we can have a chat.”
- Help! My Mask Fogs My Glasses
- The future is masked
Dr. Humphries says, “How do you let people know it’s safe to leave their homes? Masks play an important role in that, and they played an important role in 1918. We see medical officers at the time saying that if wearing a mask makes you feel safe, and makes you feel like you can leave your house, then in many ways it doesn’t matter if the mask works or not. It makes you feel safe. You can go on with your life.’’
- Masking fears: SARS and the politics of public health in China
In the Western media, the mask was often implicitly – and sometimes explicitly – pitted against ideas of transparency, truth, sincerity, and authenticity.
- Why I don’t feel safe wearing a face mask: I’m a Black man living in this world. I want to stay alive, but I also want to stay alive.
- Hamster research proof effectiveness of masks ‘huge’ in Covid-19 battle, Hong Kong scientists say
- Asians in the US least likely to get coronavirus infection, data suggests
- Mask handout: another example of a government that doesn’t listen, giving people what they don’t want or need
- This review of HK’s CUMask+ is interesting. Free CuMask+ From The Hongkong Government Unboxing And Review The reviewer opens the mask, shipped in an envelope, reads the instructions, but inadvertently puts the mask on upside down. This is an interesting UI issue, as the mask seems to work both ways.
The CUMask+ has an inner pocket similar in design to the CraftPassion mask, where the inner filter material is placed. With 6 layers, I wonder how difficult it will be to breath.
- ‘No point in lipstick’: Japan’s cosmetics sales drop as face masks become obligatory
- Mask-wearing is becoming a social norm, but one to practise alongside other precautions
- Canada Goose lays off 125 workers: Retools to make PPE
The company said last month it was planning to reopen its Canadian facilities to make personal protective equipment (PPE), adding that, at full capacity, as many as 900 employees across Canada were going to be working to produce PPEs.
- Scientific evidence for mask wearing: Dr John Campbell citing the HK study by Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, requiring 80% of people to wear masks.
- Stockpile masks at home in case of emergency, China urges families: China recommends face masks as part of family emergency preparedness
- The Most Patriotic Thing You Can Do Right Now
We also know that our own decisions, as individuals, will be vital in helping to protect our neighbors. Until there is a vaccine, which could be years from now, the simple acts of wearing a mask and practicing social distancing may be the most reliable ways to stem the spread of the disease and save more lives.
- If 80% of Americans Wore Masks, COVID-19 Infections Would Plummet, New Study Says
- The great mask debate: Which of these COVID-19 face covering is right for you?
- As imports hit roadblock, when can Canada make its own N95 masks?
- Can’t avoid transit? Here’s a guide to safely taking the TTC amid the pandemic
Once on the system, the TTC says it is “strongly recommended” that riders wear masks or cloth face coverings, particularly when it’s not possible to keep your distance.
“The use of face coverings while riding is prudent, and we strongly agree with Toronto Public Health’s recommendation for people to wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained,” DeToma said.
Mask use isn’t mandatory. Agency officials have said the TTC doesn’t have the ability to enforce a rule requiring every transit rider to cover their face, and any law compelling mask use would have to come from government.
- Everything you need to know about face masks
- How to Maintain Social Distance as the U.S. Reopens
In fact, we’ve learned that sneezes and coughs can actually amplify beyond the six feet, but, in fact, that masks are really effective…
Understand that masks can really help, I think, a lot more than we understood at first with this condition, because of their containment capacity…
But if you are going to a crowded beach, a crowded park, walking down the street where people are talking and breathing and coughing and sneezing, you should wear a mask…
The majority of transmission is happening in indoor, poorly ventilated environments commonly used by multiple people who are coming in and out. And I think that’s where the focus of our transmission reduction should be…
You can’t declare trust by fiat. You have to build it. People have to have the sense that going to your place of business, resuming their daily life, will not entail an undue, overwhelming risk for them or their families. The only way to do that is to have reasonable and sensible and approachable policies—that enough people maintain the masks, the hygiene, the distancing, to make it possible for us to actually resume our economic lives.
- What It’s Like to Wear a Mask in the South
Above all, I’m trying to understand why wearing a mask — which is meant only to protect the most vulnerable among us and slow the spread of the virus to everyone else — has become the political equivalent of wearing a bumper sticker on your face. It makes me weep to think about it: Our one ready-to-hand tool for getting this country back to normal as quickly and as safely as possible has become yet another symbol of the seemingly insurmountable schism between Americans. It’s enough to break a true patriot’s heart…
“On my way to Charlotte, I had to stop at a convenience store for the restroom. I walked far around one employee on a smoke break outside the store. I was the only person of perhaps 20 inside who was masked and was clearly being given the stink eye. I brought a drink to the counter to pay and the employee behind the plexiglass screen asked me if that was all. I said yes, and he said, ‘Take it.’ I was like, ‘Oh thanks, happy Mother’s Day?’ And he said, ‘No, your mask is scaring us.’”
- All Pearson passengers, staff now required to wear face masks
- It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Virus. It’s How Much.
Apart from avoiding crowded indoor spaces, the most effective thing people can do is wear masks, all of the experts said. Even if masks don’t fully shield you from droplets loaded with virus, they can cut down the amount you receive, and perhaps bring it below the infectious dose.
“This is not a virus for which hand washing seems like it will be enough,” Dr. Rabinowitz said. “We have to limit crowds, we have to wear masks.”
- What do experts think about mandatory universal masking in public places?
There is a growing scientific and political consensus that wearing a mask is desirable in health care settings, on public transit, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centres and other crowded places with poor ventilation. Doing so is recommended by public health officials and, as the economy opens up, many stores are making face-covering a condition of entering. Masks are mandatory in 31 U.S. states and a number of European and Asian countries. So far, there is no indication the federal or provincial governments intend to make masks mandatory. It is seen more an act of civic engagement than a legal obligation.
- Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Ultimately, the amount of ventilation, number of people, how long one visits an indoor facility, and activities that affect air flow will all modulate viral transmission pathways and exposure (10). For these reasons, it is important to wear properly fitted masks indoors even when 6 ft apart. Airborne transmission could account, in part, for the high secondary transmission rates to medical staff, as well as major outbreaks in nursing facilities…
it is particularly important to wear masks in locations with conditions that can accumulate high concentrations of viruses, such as health care settings, airplanes, restaurants, and other crowded places with reduced ventilation.
- Wear masks in crowded places to combat coronavirus, World Health Organisation finally advises the public
the Secret to Japan’s Virus Success Right in Front of Its Face?
During the current pandemic, scientists have found a correlation between high levels of mask-wearing — whether as a matter of culture or policy — and success in containing the virus…
The scientific evidence on whether a mask protects the wearer from infection is mixed. But experiments show that masks can be effective in blocking the emission of respiratory droplets that may contain the virus, even when someone has no symptoms of illness. And there is some evidence that infected people with no symptoms can still transmit the coronavirus.
- Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review
Our review of the literature offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission: non-medical masks use materials that obstruct droplets of the necessary size; people are most infectious in the initial period post-infection, where it is common to have few or no symptoms (10–16); non-medical masks have been effective in reducing transmission of influenza; and places and time periods where mask usage is required or widespread have shown substantially lower community transmission…
Models suggest that public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high (96). We recommend that mask use requirements are implemented
by governments, or when governments do not, by organizations that provide public-facing services, such as transit service providers or stores, as “no mask, no service” rules.
- When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again
They mostly agreed that outdoor activities and small groups were safer than being indoors or in a crowd, and that masks would be necessary for a long time…
A majority said it would be more than a year before they stopped routinely wearing a mask outside their homes.
- Canadians increasingly wearing face masks, fear second wave of COVID-19: poll
And 53 per cent – up two points – said masks should be mandatory in public and confined spaces, like shopping malls and public transit.
- How to keep a cloth face mask clean amid coronavirus – wash it, don’t touch it, throw damaged ones away
- Why Are So Many N.Y.P.D. Officers Refusing to Wear Masks at Protests?
- Jurors, Please Remove Your Masks: Courtrooms Confront the Pandemic: This article shows that mask wearing does deeply affect our society in ways that we have never seen before.
- Ontario docs sign petition
- The most effective weapon in the war on COVID-19 is as plain as the mask on your face, U.S. researchers find
- Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19
Our analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic. This protective measure significantly reduces the number of infections. Other mitigation measures, such as social distancing implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in protecting the public.
- Across the world, face masks are becoming mandatory. Why not in the UK?
- Our masked future: An interesting article on the past, present and possible future of mask wearing
- Guidance against wearing masks for the coronavirus is wrong – you should cover your face
- Yes, it’s time to make masks mandatory
- IZA DP No. 13319: Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach
We indeed find strong and convincing statistical support for the general perception that public wearing of face masks in Jena strongly reduced the number of incidences… Our findings indicate that the early introduction of face masks in Jena has resulted in a reduction of almost 25% in the cumulative number of reported Covid-19 cases after 20 days. The drop is greatest, larger than 50%, for the age group 60 years and above…
We believe that the reduction in the growth rates of infections by 40% to 60% is our best estimate of the effects of face masks…
- Children don’t need to wear masks or follow strict social distancing when they return to school: SickKids experts
- How do I know when it’s time to buy a new mask? A public health doctor answers
- South Carolina and Florida Set Record Highs for Daily Cases — Again
Then on Friday, AMC reversed itself, saying it had consulted with scientific advisers and would require masks in theaters nationwide when it reopens on July 15.
“This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks,” the company said in a statement.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema also said on Friday that it would require face masks in its theaters, saying the safety of patrons and workers could not be compromised.
- The battle over masks in a pandemic: An all-American story
Now it’s masks and the coronavirus, with face coverings emerging as an emblem for what cleaves the nation. A flurry of recent studies supports wearing cloth face coverings as a means to limit transmission of the novel coronavirus, which causes the illness covid-19. To many people, masks represent adherence to civic duty and a willingness to make individual sacrifices for the greater good of public health. To others, masks symbolize government overreach and a violation of personal liberty.
- Spate of new research supports wearing masks to control coronavirus spread
“Our findings suggest, in multiple ways, that the use of masks is highly protective in health-care and community settings,” said the author of the review, Holger Schünemann, an epidemiologist and physician at McMaster University in Ontario…
“Anecdotally, it appears that face-mask use is an important control against multiple modes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” including droplets and aerosols, said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.
- In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm
Regarding the effectiveness of face masks, Lauterbach added, “we almost entirely relied on U.S. studies.” Germany was among the first major European countries to make face masks mandatory on public transport and in supermarkets.
- face masks save lives, Japanese study says
- Make masks mandatory in Toronto stores? Mayor now says he’s open to the idea
- Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks
Reduction of secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in households by face mask use, disinfection and social distancing: a cohort study in Beijing, China
- Four things Canada needs to keep the economy open, and the virus contained
The message about masks needs to be clear and simple. It needs to be a rule, not one more bit of vague advice. Public-health authorities in each province, and at the local level, should have the power to order masking in public places, and to lift those orders when and where risks are low.
- ‘Wear a mask’: Some Republican leaders break with Trump as COVID-19 cases surge
- Why is Canada dragging its feet on mandatory masks?
- What To Look For In A Face Mask, According To Science
- Performance of fabrics for home-made masks against spread of respiratory infection through droplets: a quantitative mechanistic study
We found that most home fabrics substantially block droplets,even as a single layer. With two layers, blocking performance can reach that of surgical mask without significantly compromising breathability. Furthermore, we observed that home fabrics are hydrophilic to varying degrees, and hence soak water. In contrast, medical masks are hydrophobic, and tend to repel water. Incoming droplets are thus soaked and “held back” by home fabrics, which might offer an as of yet untapped and understudied advantage of home-made cloth masks. Overall, our study suggests that most double-layered cloth face coverings may help reduce droplet transmission of respiratory infections.
- Group led by Canadian doctors and scientists calls for mandatory face mask use in indoor spaces
- Fighting Over Masks in Public Is the New American Pastime
- Refusing to Wear a Mask Is Like Driving Drunk
- Amid Virus Surge, Republicans Abruptly Urge Masks Despite Trump’s Resistance
- What we know – and don’t know – about masks
- More riders, less distancing and a $195 fine for no mask: The TTC’s next recovery phase starts Thursday
- Masks are now mandatory. Here’s some tips for how to deal with that
- Trevor Noah Covers Outrageous Coronavirus Mask Infractions
- Masks And The Outdoor Exerciser: Advice For Runners, Bikers, Walkers, Hikers
- For Doug Ford, political science trumps medical science when it comes to masks on transit: TTC mandates face masks, but regional operator GO and UPLink does not. This makes no sense.
- The Science of Mask-Wearing Hasn’t Changed. So Why Have Our Expectations?
- How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have: Public health messaging and science have to work hard to stay in sync during a crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they haven’t always succeeded.
- If we forget everything else we’ve learned during the pandemic, let us remember this: wearing a mask is good
- My Small Alabama Town, Masked and Unmasked
- Mask Rules Expand Across U.S. as Clashes Over the Mandates Intensify
- Gretchen Whitmer: Mask Up, America
- The retired inventor of N95 masks is back at work, mostly for free, to fight covid-19
His central finding was that N95 masks can be heated at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes using a dry heat method without diminishing the filtration technology, and his hypothesis was validated by the National Institutes of Health…
He’s spread the word about the optimal material to use for homemade masks. His suggestion: nonwoven fabrics, such as car shop towels.
- N95 Respirator Cleaning and Reuse Methods Proposed by the Inventor of the N95 Mask Material
This article is timely and we thank Dr. Juang for his diligence and desire to protect frontline health care providers. These appear to be simple methods for conserving N95 masks that are supported by some evidence as well as supported by the developer of the mask. We are publishing this in an expedited manner and readers should be aware that for obvious reasons this article has not gone through our regular peer-review process. Readers should also be aware that as of this writing, these methods are not officially approved by regulatory agencies. Nonetheless, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in times of crisis, alternative recommendations for the use of respirators like the ones in Dr. Juang’s article may need to be considered when there are shortages of personal protective equipment that could put health care providers at risk. We will leave it to readers of the Journal to decide if the recommendations in this article are applicable to their situation.
- Masks offer much more protection against coronavirus than many think
- You Won’t Find These Masks at 7-Eleven
- If Our Masks Could Speak
For something that’s supposed to cover our mouths it speaks volumes about how crazy some have gotten. Specifically, that face mask tells how the world’s richest and most scientifically advanced country generated a cadre of leaders and citizens who made wearing a covering over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of a contagion into a freedom-of-speech issue and cultural marker — something no other country in the world did.
- A Viral Epidemic Splintering Into Deadly Pieces
It is extremely transmissible, through not just coughed droplets but also a fine aerosol mist that is expelled when people talk loudly, laugh or sing and that can linger in indoor air. As a result, masks are far more effective than scientists once believed…
Above all, researchers said, mask use should be universal indoors — including airplanes, subway cars and every other enclosed space — and outdoors anywhere people are less than six feet apart.
- Masks May Reduce Viral Dose, Some Experts Say
- There’s a Wrinkle in Stores’ Mask Policies: Enforcement
- Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air
The strongest protection against SARS-CoV-2, whether the virus is mostly contained in droplets or in aerosols, essentially remains the same: Keep your distance and wear masks.
Rather, the recent findings are an important reminder to also be vigilant about opening windows and improving airflow indoors. And they are further evidence that the quality of masks and their fit matter, too…
My lab has been testing cloth masks on a mannequin, sucking in air through its mouth at a realistic rate. We found that even a bandanna loosely tied over its mouth and nose blocked half or more of aerosols larger than 2 microns from entering the mannequin.
We also found that especially with very small aerosols — smaller than 1 micron — it is more effective to use a softer fabric (which is easier to fit tightly over the face) than a stiffer fabric (which, even if it is a better filter, tends to sit more awkwardly, creating gaps).
- Avoid crowds. The more people around you, the more likely someone among them will be infected. Especially avoid crowds indoors, where aerosols can accumulate.
- Ventilation counts. Open windows and doors. Adjust dampers in air-conditioning and heating systems. Upgrade the filters in those systems. Add portable air cleaners, or install germicidal ultraviolet technologies to remove or kill virus particles in the air.
- Mandatory masks should be the default option for Ontarians
- Wear Your Mask. Please. No, Not on Your Chin
- Researchers created a test to determine which masks are the least effective
- Low-cost measurement of facemask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech
- What a Korean Teenage Fashion Trend Reveals About the Culture of Mask-Wearing
- Wearing masks can cut severity of Covid-19 symptoms, reduce chance of serious disease or death, doctor says
There’s now mounting evidence that silent spreaders are responsible for most transmission of the coronavirus – making universal masking essential
to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus, experts say…
Cloth face masks still provide a major protective benefit
: they filter out most viral particles. As it turns out, that is pretty important. Breathing in a small amount of virus may lead to no disease or a more mild infection. But inhaling a huge volume of virus particles can result in serious disease or death.
- Learning to Live With the Coronavirus: If we want to get out of our bunkers, we need to take stock of our risk tolerance
Which is why masking should be mandated and enforced. It’s not just about your individual risk tolerance, but about keeping everyone safe.
- Are New Yorkers Wearing Masks? Here’s What We Found in Each Borough
- Do masks protect me from COVID-19 or just prevent me from spreading it? What kind should I wear?
- Covid-19 research shows downsides of face shields and valve masks
While clear plastic face shields blocked the initial forward motion of the jet of droplets, once expelled they were able to move around the visor relatively easily and spread out over a large area, according to the study published on September 1 in peer-reviewed scientific journal Physics of Fluids.
Visualisations for a mask equipped with an exhalation port indicated a large number of droplets passed through the valve unfiltered.
- A new theory asks: Could a mask be a crude ‘vaccine’?
- Surgical masks are the face covering of choice in Hong Kong, preferred to high-fashion, cloth and home-made ones
- Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year
We need to normalize mask-wearing. It’s a tragedy that this has become politicized and that this simple, safe and effective measure is in dispute. It’s about protecting others even more than ourselves. That such an action is now viewed as weakness is horrific.
- When a Bus Driver Told a Rider to Wear a Mask, ‘He Knocked Me Out Cold’
- What Is It With Trump and Face Masks?
In short, anti-mask agitation isn’t really about freedom, or individualism, or culture. It’s a declaration of political allegiance, driven by Trump and his allies.
- Lives are on the line. What’s so hard about wearing a mask — and properly?
- Get Serious About the People Putting Us All at Risk
- Coronavirus: home-made origami face masks may fit better than commercial ones, study suggests
- Trump Can Still Make a Difference on Masks
- Trump’s Diagnosis Is a Wake-Up Call for Americans: Forget the snark. Just wear a mask.
It’s extraordinary that mask-wearing is even controversial, considering that masks were used more than 100 years ago to mitigate the influenza pandemic of 1918 (although there was resistance then, too). A review of 172 studies in The Lancet found that face masks significantly reduce virus transmission, and one recent study estimated that state mask mandates (covering about half the American population) might have averted 230,000 coronavirus infections.
- Are Astronaut-Style Face Shields the Future?
- Charting a Coronavirus Infection
Masks and face coverings that swaddle the nose and mouth can block much of transmission, and seem especially effective at waylaying outbound virus from an infected individual. But there’s evidence that masks can thwart some percentage of inbound pathogens as well, even if they don’t make the wearer impervious to infection.
- Coronavirus: how to choose the best face mask for the planet
- Face masks: what the data say
To be clear, the science supports using masks, with recent studies suggesting that they could save lives in different ways: research shows that they cut down the chances of both transmitting and catching the coronavirus, and some studies hint that masks might reduce the severity of infection if people do contract the disease…
The findings provide justification for the emerging consensus that mask use protects the wearer as well as other people. The work also points to another potentially game-changing idea: “Masking may not only protect you from infection but also from severe illness,” says Monica Gandhi, an infectious-disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco.
- How were so many infected? Everything you need to know about Hamilton’s SpinCo outbreak
Richardson stresses: if you are sick, do not go to a gym. Instead, take a walk outside or go for a run if you really want to exercise. If you are feeling well and want to go to a gym, you should still wear a mask — even while working out, which is more than what Hamilton’s mask bylaw requires. Be sure to wash your hands often and maintain six feet of physical distance between yourself and other gym-goers. Your gym also should not have loud music, since loud music increases the need to yell and yelling can increase the risk of COVID spread.
- The COVID-19 Fall Surge Is Here. We Can Stop It.
…This much is true: Masks aren’t perfect. But their imperfection is often enough to make this disease less likely to spread—and less severe for those who get it. A new research preprint estimates that when an infected person and a non-infected person both wear masks, that can reduce the chance of transmission by up to 80 percent compared with a scenario where neither is masked. Joshua T. Schiffer, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of Washington who co-wrote the study, found that if the healthy masked individual is infected, her viral dosage is slashed by a factor of 10. This reduces the likelihood that she develops a severe case of COVID-19. A larger body of research finds that masks reduce the spread of aerosolized diseases like COVID-19.
- Mask Mandate? In a Montana Town, It ‘Puts Us at Odds With Customers’
- Fauci says the U.S. should consider a national mask mandate as infections spiral.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Friday that the country should consider implementing a first-ever national mandate requiring masks, to help control a surge in coronavirus cases across the United States that has become the most severe to date.
- Wash your mask daily: the ultimate guide to face coverings
- A U.S. mask mandate would probably face a legal challenge, but Biden, if elected, would have ways to promote it.
Experts say the scientific evidence is growing that face masks can considerably reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses like the one that causes Covid-19. Even when mask wearing does not prevent infection, it can reduce the severity of disease by diminishing the intensity of a person’s exposure to the virus. Research also shows that states that have passed mask mandates have had lower growth rates of Covid-19, beginning on the day the mandate was passed.
- Masks Work. Really. We’ll Show You How.: An interesting graphic of how fabric and N95 masks actually filter virus and other particulate.
“It’s become clear that cloth masks, even though they’re not as effective as the N95s, are still effective at reducing transmission,” said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. “Even if you’re not achieving that 95 percent reduction, something is better than nothing.”
- On Masks and Clinical Trials, Rand Paul’s Tweeting Is Just Plain Wrong
Early in the pandemic, medical authorities recommended that only sick people wear masks, so that they wouldn’t infect others. Then it became clearer that people who were not yet showing symptoms, or who had mild symptoms, were also infecting others. That was one key reason universal mask-wearing became recommended, to prevent transmission to others — what’s known as source control. Preventing the mask-wearer from becoming infected, to the degree that it happens, is a secondary benefit…
We do, however, have important evidence from lab studies. When we understand the underlying mechanisms — that aerosols and droplets that can carry the virus are emitted when people talk, sing, shout or even breathe — it is less necessary to rely on clinical trials to be confident of a benefit. Do cloth masks lessen the chance of these respiratory particles’ being emitted into the air around us, where they could infect others? The answer from multiple studies is a clear and resounding yes.
Furthermore, while a randomized study is necessary for drugs, which are often expensive and can have harmful effects, there are few downsides to the simple act of respiratory etiquette. If anything, we should be discussing how to improve masks to also help better protect the wearers.
- Experts around the world say to wear a mask indoors. But do province-wide mandates work?: Let provinces implement a mask mandate, or leave the decision at the local government or even store level?
- CDC: Wearing a mask could keep you from catching virus
- Doctors plead with Americans to take the virus surge seriously.
On the ABC program “This Week,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health and human services, called masks “critically important.” “They’re highly protective against you spreading it to someone else and we also know that it provides you protection from getting it from someone else,” he said.
- When Will We Throw Our Masks Away? I Asked Dr. Fauci
Q: When do you think we’ll all be able to throw our masks away?
A: I think that we’re going to have some degree of public health measures together with the vaccine for a considerable period of time. But we’ll start approaching normal — if the overwhelming majority of people take the vaccine — as we get into the third or fourth quarter [of 2021].
- Hospitals and Health Care Workers Issue a Call to Arms for Wearing Masks
“We are all weary and empathize with the desire to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but given the serious risks, we underscore how important it is to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands,” the letter said.
- How Effective Is the Mask You’re Wearing? You May Know Soon
- MYTH: MASKS DON’T OFFER PROTECTION FROM THE VIRUS
- For Scientists Who Study Virus Transmission, 2020 Was A Watershed Year
Soon, though, studies showed that even simple masks are able to reduce the amount of virus that gets out into the air, cutting the risk of transmission. Suddenly mask-wearing became an ordinary — if politically contentious — part of everyday life.
- When the pandemic is over we should continue wearing masks
- Covid-19 masks ‘cause plastic fibre inhalation – but we should still use them’
The N95 respirator studied released only about half of the quantity of microplastics of a surgical mask. N95s are designed to filter at least 95 per cent of airborne particles. Intended mainly for medical or industrial use, they are made to higher standards with a stronger structure.
- One Mask Is Good. Would Two Be Better?
- Why Aren’t We Wearing Better Masks?: Cloth masks are better than nothing, but they were supposed to be a stopgap measure.
- The “double eights mask brace” improves the fit and protection of a basic surgical mask amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Results: … and encompassing 5 distinct N95 mask fit
types. We found that 45%, 100%, and 100% of subjects passed the quantitative fit test
when the brace was anchored behind the ears, with a paperclip and on a face shield,
Conclusion: Of the 11 subjects included in the analysis, across a range of body habitus
and N95 mask fit types, all passed the quantitative fit test when the mask brace was
anchored on either face shield or with a paperclip. This data suggests that although the
brace does not create an N95 equivalent in terms of filtration, it would offer improved
protection from airborne viruses when worn with a basic surgical mask.
- Why You Should Still Wear A Mask And Avoid Crowds After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine
With cases and deaths surging throughout the U.S., the people who are treating COVID-19 patients really want you to continue to wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands, even if you’ve been vaccinated, until the research on shedding has yielded some answers.
- What You Can Do to Avoid the New Coronavirus Variant Right Now
- One Mask Is Good. Would Two Be Better?
The point is not to make a mask airtight, Dr. Marr said. Instead, the fibers that comprise masks create a haphazard obstacle course through which air — and any infectious cargo — must navigate.
“The air has to follow this tortuous path,” Dr. Marr said. “The big things it’s carrying are not going to be able to follow those twists and turns.”..
Other tweaks can enhance a mask’s fit, such as ties that secure the fabric around the back of the head, instead of relying on ear loops that allow masks to hang and gape. Nose bridges, which can help the top of a mask to fit more snugly, offer a protective boost as well.
- One mask or two? As other countries explore new options, Canada sticks to its COVID-19 advice
In Europe, countries including Austria and France announced this month that cloth masks are out and medical-grade or surgical masks are more ideal for their entire population. Last week Germany made medical masks mandatory on public transit and in stores. Officials said that as new variants emerge, medical masks offer greater protection.
- Coronavirus FAQ: Why Am I Suddenly Hearing So Much About KF94 Masks?
- Q and A: Toronto Public Health’s latest advice on masks
- The Mystery Of India’s Plummeting COVID-19 Cases
India is one of several countries — mostly in Asia, Africa and South America — that have mandated masks in public spaces. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared on TV wearing a mask very early in the coronavirus pandemic. The messaging was clear.
- What you need to know about the latest medical guidance on mask-wearing to reduce the spread of COVID-19
As PHAC recommends, Dr. Clase suggests using cloth masks with a middle layer of non-woven polypropylene. Industry-grade, non-woven, spun-bond polypropylene is washable and reusable, which makes it good for masks. It also doesn’t fray, so people can cut a piece to use as an added filter for masks that have a pocket.
Dr. Clase, who is part of a team behind the website Clothmasks.ca, which provides evidence-based guidance on fabric masks, said non-woven materials are desirable because the fibres are arranged randomly, “like spaghetti on a plate,” which means particles are much more likely to be intercepted.
It also helps if one of the multiple layers is cotton with a higher thread count since cotton fibres tend to swell a bit, making them better able to capture droplets and particles, Dr. Scott added.
- Evidence-Informed Cloth Masks: A Canadian site that summarizes what you need know when using or making cloth masks. It points out the tradeoff between adding layers for extra protection but with reduced breathability and therefore comfort.
- The N.F.L. Had Over 700 Coronavirus Positives. The Seahawks Had None.: A great article on how the Seattle Seahawks team used strict infection control
- Can’t Find an N95 Mask? This Company Has 30 Million That It Can’t Sell.
- Here’s the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 right now
- A Dismal Spring Awaits Unless We Slow the Spread of Covid-19
Every American needs to wear a high-quality mask, and wear it correctly.
The government needs to mail a package of surgical masks to every household. This should be paired with a multilingual, multicultural media messaging campaign to show people what a good mask looks like — multiple layers of fine fabric with an adjustable nose piece — and how to wear them correctly. That is: over your mouth and nose and under your chin, with a tight fit across your nose and on the sides so the air you breathe goes in and out through the mask, not the sides. The message should also emphasize that it may be even more effective to wear two masks, a cloth mask over a surgical mask, to reduce viral transmission.
- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of the latest COVID-19 numbers: ‘We’re going to be in a bad situation’
“So putting (masks) on sloppily can’t be tolerated anymore, and having a one-layer mask probably isn’t going to do the job anymore. We probably should be encouraging high-quality N95 usage across the board and we have to have a deeper conversation about aerosol transmission.”
- Double Masking Can Get Tricky. Here’s an Easy Way to Do It Right. Some interesting and useful tips for mask fit, especially simple mask fit tests.
Double-masking can improve the fit of your mask by closing gaps around the edges, and it creates multiple layers of protection against droplets coming in or out.
- Sewing masks with fabric from my past brings me comfort and hope
- Lessons from a year under cover: How the mask went from a discouraged piece of protection to a politicized symbol of the pandemic
- What Will We Do With Our Masks Now?
- What People Get Wrong About MASKS: How masks work and why they reduce transmission and severity of CoVid-19
- After the Pandemic, Will More People Wear Masks for Colds and Flu?
- Federal Mask Retreat Sets Off Confusing Scramble for States and Cities: US CDC recommends fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks
- Maybe We Need Masks Indoors Just a Bit Longer
- They’re Vaccinated and Keeping Their Masks On, Maybe Forever: Face coverings have been a political flash point for more than a year. But now, the backlash is directed at people who don’t plan to take them off.
A new term: perma-maskers. I like ever-maskers, or as I call them, Asians.
- What Can and Can’t Be Learned From a Doctor in China Who Pioneered Masks: Dr. Wu Lien-Teh helped change the course of a plague epidemic in the early 20th century and promoted the use of masks as a public health tool.
- We shouldn’t abandon masks after the pandemic recedes: The benefits of face masks after the pandemic has passed
Some see masks as symbols of the anxiety and isolation the pandemic has caused. We are hoping people can instead come to see them as a tremendous gift we have given some of our most vulnerable citizens, protecting them from serious illness and even death. And we hope people will embrace the ongoing use of masks, even after the pandemic recedes.
- Hang on to your face masks until fall: Toronto city council votes to extend bylaw: City of Toronto extends use of face masks in public to October
- California mandated masks. Florida opened its restaurants. Did any of it matter?
The evidence on lockdowns may be dicey, but the science on masks is clear: They work. Even experts I spoke with who think harsh lockdowns may have been counterproductive say indoor mask mandates were clearly effective.
“Indoor masking guidance was proven to be effective,” Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me. “When you look at it all, I think that is probably going to be the one that shows the most effect. … Most things can be done safely if people socially distance and wear a mask indoors in an unvaccinated setting.”
- Farewell to Masks (For Now): Mask use will change, so we must be flexible on wearing them depending on conditions
- Excuse Me If I’m Not Ready to Unmask
- The Fundamental Question of the Pandemic Is Shifting We understand how this will end. But who bears the risk that remains?
Creating incentives for vaccination is vital; treating the removal of an important protective measure as an incentive is folly. The latter implicitly supports the individualistic narrative that masks are oppressive burdens “that people need to get away from to get back to ‘normal,’” Rhea Boyd, a pediatrician and public-health advocate from the Bay Area, told me. In fact, they are an incredibly cheap, simple, and effective means of collective protection.
- Masks are coming off in parts of Canada, is it too soon?
- ‘Free of the mask’: Businesses taking cautious approach to Alberta’s full reopening
- Are Masks a New Signifier of Social Class?: Masked for the working class, unmasked for the rich
- Wary and Weary, Los Angeles Largely Accepts Restored Mask Mandate
- Why Vaccinated People Are Getting ‘Breakthrough’ Infections
Given the upwelling of virus across much of the country, some scientists say it is time for vaccinated people to consider wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces like shopping malls or concert halls — a recommendation that goes beyond current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends masking only for unvaccinated people.
- Should Vaccinated People Start Wearing Masks Again?
“So this shows that the vaccines are still protecting people and we urge you to take precautions and continue to wear a mask even after you get vaccinated.”Coronavirus: most cases in Chinese airport cluster were vaccinated
- Masks, vaccine passports and a lot more vaccinations: How Canada can avoid a punishing pandemic fourth wave
Keep the masks: As much as possible, Canada needs its economy fully reopened, with people back at work and kids back in school. The way to make that happen, and keep it that way, is through a combination of mass vaccination and targeted public-health measures. The least costly, least inconveniencing, yet highly effective public-health measure is masking indoors.
Is it really a problem to wear a mask for 20 minutes at the grocery store? No, it isn’t. Provinces that have ended mask mandates should look at reinstating them, or at least remind people that, if and when cases rise, masks will be making a comeback.
- As Infections Rise, C.D.C. Urges Some Vaccinated Americans to Wear Masks Again: In communities with growing caseloads, vaccinated and unvaccinated people should return to masking in indoor public areas, health officials said.
- As Infections Rise, C.D.C. Urges Some Vaccinated Americans to Wear Masks Again: In communities with growing caseloads, vaccinated and unvaccinated people should return to wearing masks indoors in public areas, health officials said.
Vaccinated people — particularly those with weak immune systems or otherwise at high risk — should consider wearing masks even in areas of low transmission, said Dr. Scott Dryden-Peterson, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Masks can effectively reduce the amount of virus that we breathe in and prevent us from getting sick, and so they augment the impact of our vaccine. Almost everywhere in the U.S., it’s a good idea,” he said.
- Hold On to Your Masks: Sales of face coverings have surged as the Delta variant spreads, and some designers see masks as permanent fixtures in our wardrobes.
- Should I Mask? Can I Travel? What About Hugs? How Delta Is Changing Advice for the Vaccinated: The rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has raised new questions about how the vaccinated can stay safe and avoid breakthrough infections. We asked the experts for advice.
You may want to pick your mask based on the setting. A cloth mask may be adequate for a quick trip into an empty convenience store in an area with high vaccination rates. But a higher-quality mask makes sense during air travel or in a crowded grocery store, especially in communities where vaccination rates are low and case counts are high. Masks with straps or ties around the back of the head seal more tightly than masks with ear loops.
“All the mitigation efforts we used before need to be better to hold off the Delta variant, and this includes masks,” Dr. Huffman said. “I strongly encourage people to upgrade their mask to something with high filter quality and something that fits tightly to their face. The No. 1 factor, in my opinion, is to make sure the mask is sealed well all around the edges — over the nose bridge, by the cheeks and under the chin. So any mask that fits tightly is better than almost any loosefitting mask.”
- Florida is cautionary COVID-19 tale. Here’s what Canada can learn from it
Keep the masks: Masking is the least intrusive public-health measure. It doesn’t involve stay-at-home orders, shuttered businesses or making anyone unemployed. It’s cost-free. And it works.
Telling people they must – must – wear a mask while they walk around the grocery aisle impinges on nobody’s freedom. Keep the masks until we know more about the course of Delta this fall. But if masks are merely a suggestion, they won’t work. On the road, stop signs are rule, not a personal choice.
Will the ditching of masks, already happening in much of the country – Ontario is the big exception – cost us? Maybe. Probably.
- Get Vaccinated. Get Masked. It’s the Only Way Out of This.
Until vaccination rates increase, masks — and thus, mask mandates — will continue to be necessary. Resistance to this idea is understandable. The mask culture war has been exhausting; the people most likely to abide mandates are the same ones who need those mandates the least because they are already vaccinated; and in the long run it will be far more important to get people vaccinated than to pester them about face coverings. But public policies should reflect what science has made clear: Masks work. They are cheap and easy to use, and it still makes sense to require them in public indoor spaces, in places where the virus is spreading rapidly…
In the pandemic’s early days, the most prescient doctors and scientists described a future in which mask mandates and other restrictions were repeatedly imposed and lifted, as the virus waxed and waned. We are living that future now, and we are likely to be stuck here for a while longer, even if the Delta surge suddenly fades, as it did in Britain. The best way to protect ourselves, and to prevent future surges, is to get vaccinated. But until many more people do just that, we’ll need to keep our masks handy.
- We Studied One Million Students. This Is What We Learned About Masking.
Although vaccination is the best way to prevent Covid-19, universal masking is a close second, and with masking in place, in-school learning is safe and more effective than remote instruction, regardless of community rates of infection.
Vaccination is the strongest method for preventing the ill effects of Covid, but students under 12 years of age are ineligible for the vaccines. Masking, then, is one of the best, most readily available methods to protect them from the disease, with universal masking being one of the most effective and efficient strategies for preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools…
Until all children can get vaccinated, masks remain a well-researched solution for lowering the risk of getting Covid.
- Why Not Just Tell Everyone to Wear Masks
Masks “are actually amazing, because they work immediately — they start reducing transmission today,” said Julia Raifman, an assistant professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. “Every case they prevent prevents several other cases, so their effectiveness grows over time.”
Wearing a mask also helps protect children who can’t be vaccinated yet, and others who are susceptible, like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, who may not be able to mount a vigorous immune response following vaccination.
Masking also helps to prevent the virus from circulating, reducing the chances that it will mutate, possibly into a form more virulent that may evade vaccines altogether.
- Is it time to upgrade your cloth mask?
- Does My Mask Protect Me if Nobody Else Is Wearing One?: Masks work best when everyone in the room has one on, but you’ll still benefit from masking up even when those around you aren’t.
- Why We Need to Upgrade Our Face Masks—and Where to Get Them: High-quality respirators such as N95s and K95s are now widely available and provide the best protection against COVID, according to experts. Why aren’t more people wearing them?
- Of masks and men — why do they put posturing over pragmatism?
- In promising a post-COVID era in just five months, is Doug Ford repeating Jason Kenney’s mistakes?
And we have to question the decision to promise Ontarians that masks will be gone by March. Why make such a promise? Mandatory masking in indoor public places has proved an effective and minimally intrusive way of limiting infections, while allowing businesses to reopen. The rules are almost universally followed, and that’s likely been a major contributor to Ontario’s low case counts.
Scaling back mask use may one day make sense. But throwing them away entirely is unlikely to be wise at any point in the foreseeable future. As such, telling people that in just a few months we can ditch our masks risks undermining their use today…
- 2021 Nov 16: The battle against airborne COVID has shifted. Why your mask is the last layer of defence
“The same as vaccination provides us with an essential base layer of immune readiness and protection, face masks are an essential top layer to prevent or reduce virus inhalation and spread between people,” Tam tweeted Sunday…
“If it’s all on us individuals now — if that’s the new plan — masks become massively important because it’s the last line of defence,” said Furness. “You can control almost nothing else about your environment or your interactions with others; you can control your use of masks.”…
“It’s crucial to wear a mask because the way the virus is transmitted is mainly through the air by breathing it in,” she told the Star. “If you wear a high-performance mask, then it will remove almost all particles from the air that you breathe in. Even if there is a lot of virus in the air around you, the mask will prevent you from breathing it in.”
- Today’s coronavirus news
8:15 p.m.: During the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, it wasn’t crystal clear how well face masks were preventing coronavirus infections or severe disease among wearers. Now, a new study reveals an association between mask policies and reduced COVID-19 deaths long before vaccines were added to the picture.
Research on 44 countries in Asia and Europe including nearly one billion people shows nations that enacted face mask policies at the start of the pandemic had significantly lower COVID-19 deaths per million people than those that did not enforce any mask rules.
Mask policies in the U.S. and Canada were not included in the study because such actions were made at the state or province level, not at a national one, researchers said in their study published last month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Countries involved in the study included Greece, Germany, Korea, Italy, the U.K., Sweden and Hong Kong, among others.
There were more than 1.2 million confirmed COVID-19 deaths in countries without mask policies and nearly 914,000 in those with the policies between February and May 2020; average COVID-19 mortality rates per million people stood at 48 and 288, respectively.
Overall, increases in daily deaths were “significantly lower” in countries that enforced mask policies, suggesting face coverings did and do offer an additional layer of protection that “could prevent unnecessary COVID-19 deaths,” researchers said in a news release posted Dec. 15.
- Eight ways Omicron changes what you thought you knew about COVID-19
Will my cloth mask still protect me from getting COVID?
No, said Schwartz. A better option is a well-fitting surgical mask or, better yet, an air-filtering mask like an N95 or KN95 respirator.
“It is time for people to retire cloth masks in the face of Omicron,” he said. “While cloth masks do provide some level of protection, there’s a risk of creating a false sense of security with them.”
Cloth masks were never the best face covering around, but they were passable when less contagious strains were dominant. Because Omicron is so much more likely to infect people, more protection is needed, Morris said.
- Is that COVID-19 mask you’re wearing good enough amid Omicron? Here’s what the experts say
Ideally, says Kirkland, an N95 mask will offer the highest level of protection of the three mask categories — if it fits properly.
Because when it comes to masks, whichever flavour you favour, the fit is the thing.
Any mask is next to useless if it doesn’t cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against your face…
Most 9N95 masks] also feature straps that go around the back of the head rather than ear loops, which improves the fit, although Canada has approved a few brands with ear loops.
- With omicron, you need a mask that means business
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While the tight-fitting N95s do a better job of filtering particles than regular masks, they are less comfortable and must be fit-tested to each person, she said. If they aren’t properly adjusted to form a seal, air will instead be forced around the sides and into the mask.
N95s are also not suitable for people with facial hair intersecting the mask’s edges, and child-sized masks can be hard to come by. They may also not work as advertised. Some manufacturers’ masks have been found to perform dramatically better – or worse – than others, and there are no standardized measurements of mask quality that producers can be held to.
- Seriously, Upgrade Your Face Mask Omicron is everywhere. Dr. Abraar Karan explains why cloth masks don’t cut it
- As calls for better masking practices increase, provinces are divided over the use of N95s: There is a conflict with mask cost and efficacy. N95s are difficult to properly fit for most people. Most people can’t even properly fit a surgical mask, leaving gaping holes on the sides. N95s are certainly more protective, if worn properly and fit tested. There are different types of N95s for different faces. Can the public receive this fit test?
Vancouver family physician Anna Wolak, who is a volunteer with the national non-profit Masks4Canada, said people who can’t find or afford N95s should wear medical masks covered with tight-fitting cloth masks, to reduce air leakage.
- Why is Hong Kong’s top Covid-19 expert wearing a ‘Donald Duck’ mask?
Yuen also elaborated on his earlier recommendation that residents wear two masks – a surgical one with a cloth version on top for greater protection against the highly contagious Omicron outbreak currently affecting Hong Kong.
“The cloth mask can eliminate any gaps around your face and help cover your cheeks completely,” he said, adding that some studies had proved double masking could improve air filtration.
Research had also shown that adding a cloth mask did not significantly impair breathing, he said.
- Can’t get an N95 for kids? How to mask your children for Ontario’s return to school
- N95, medical or cloth face masks: Which is best against the Omicron COVID-19 variant? Canada’s latest guidance explained
- How to Find a Quality Mask (and Avoid Counterfeits): Knowing which mask to pick and making sure it’s not a fake requires the sleuthing skills of a forensic investigator. Our guide can help.
- 9-seconds-apart transmission: can masks still protect us from coronavirus? Hong Kong railway station case sparks fresh debate
Faced with the super-transmissible Omicron variant, government pandemic adviser Professor Yuen Kwok-yung suggested that residents should wear two surgical masks to protect themselves. Yuen, who regularly donned a “Donald Duck” beak-shaped facial covering in public said to be of higher protection, later clarified his remarks by saying cloth could be worn as the second layer.
- Let Kids Take Their Masks Off After the Omicron Surge: The disadvantages of masking for school kids may outweigh the advantages
… from speaking with pediatricians, from speaking with learning specialists, and also from speaking with parents of younger children especially, there are significant issues related to language acquisition, pronunciation, things like that. And there are very clear social and emotional side effects in the older kids.”
- 12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask
- What to Know About the KF94 Mask
- N95s and KN95s Offer the Most Protection. But Some Cloth Masks Come Close.: Kids masks, washing cloth masks in the washer may reduce effectiveness
- It’s a pain, it’s politicized and it works. How the N95 mask became a crucial COVID accessory: A detailed historical story of the 3M N95
- Why American Mask Makers Are Going Out of Business: Efforts to make the supply chain more resilient after pandemic shortages are no match for low-price foreign products, the companies say.
- Asking students to wear masks doesn’t have a downside. COVID has several: It is not students wh oare asking to remove masks early, but politicians
- How to survive the awkward dance of unmasking
With politicians lifting mask mandates and public-health officials basically throwing up their hands, we’ll have to take charge of our decision-making around masks…
- Call this wave of COVID whatever you want, it’s clear we’re not all in it together
If “living with COVID” was a “we” effort as opposed to an “I” one, we would have had no issue resuming public activities — school included — with masking in place. We would not have abandoned mask mandates in March: an easy and effective means to mitigate spread and render public space safer for vulnerable people. And if we had for whatever foolish reason abandoned those mandates, we would not now refuse to reinstate them in the midst of yet another wave of the virus.
It was hugely disappointing for example, that the city of Toronto, a largely sensible actor throughout the pandemic, followed the province’s lead by allowing mask mandates to expire last month. Mayor John Tory’s stated preference for “consistent” pandemic policies across government powers was not a good reason to approve a bad one.
- Masks are cheap, easy and effective. So why has public health ditched the mandate?: It’s bizarre that our leaders have lifted mask mandates, then issued gentle reminders about the importance of mask wearing.
- COVID-19 Omicron Variant Sub-lineage BA.2: Evidence and Risk Assessment (up to date as of April 5, 2022)
Masking with high-quality masks (i.e., good fit and filtration) at a population level is a public health measure that can be effective at reducing transmission, while enabling community settings and activities to continue functioning. This can include re-implementing universal indoor masking in public settings, extending masking directives in high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care), and communication on the importance of wearing masks with good fit and filtration for personal and population-level protection.
- Canada keeps travel mask mandates as U.S. rules vanish into thin air (sometimes in mid-flight)
- Does My Mask Protect Me if Nobody Else Is Wearing One?: Masks work best when everyone in the room has one on, but you’ll still benefit from masking up even when those around you aren’t.
- 2022 Jun 21 For shrinking minority, masking up creates tension in public spaces as COVID-19 measures expire
- Cirque du Soleil may have moved on, but most Canadian culture-goers still want masks
- Japan’s Secret to Taming the Coronavirus: Peer Pressure
- Another COVID-19 wave is here – if only we could do something about it. (Hint: We can)
Masks are a simple choice, too. COVID-19 is an airborne disease. If you don’t want to catch the latest variant, wear a properly fitted mask in indoor spaces and avoid large crowds. There are many more infected people out there than are being accounted for.
- To address Canada’s health care crisis, start by containing COVID-19
…high-quality masks are a low-burden and effective intervention to slow spread of all seasonal viruses. Masks should be used in indoor public settings wherever broad mingling occurs. Effective and affordable technologies are now available to greatly improve indoor air quality, and must be wisely and widely deployed.
- To address Canada’s health care crisis, start by containing COVID-19
… high-quality masks are a low-burden and effective intervention to slow spread of all seasonal viruses. Masks should be used in indoor public settings wherever broad mingling occurs.
- It’s the third pandemic September: Here’s how eight experts are navigating COVID-19 risks as kids head back into the classroom
Many experts who spoke to the Star say they will continue to wear a mask in crowded indoor places — and that they are encouraging their children to do the same at school.
“That’s what I would recommend from a scientific perspective and also what I will be recommending to my kids,” says Razak. “But I accept that my kids may not follow this and will do my best as a parent; in the end, what else can you do?”
Dr. Peter Azzopardi, corporate chief and medical director of pediatrics at Scarborough Health Network, says most physicians and “certainly most pediatricians” are still “very much in favour of using masks in indoor spaces when they are crowded or poorly ventilated,” which include not just schools but other places where children and families gather.
This is especially true when it comes to children at higher risk of severe COVID infection, or for students and staff who have a vulnerable family member at home, he says.
“In general, our classrooms are going to be healthier if staff and students are wearing a mask.”
There are many valid reasons staff and students may choose to wear masks, even outside of COVID surges, says Dr. Nisha Thampi, an infectious disease pediatrician at CHEO, a pediatric health-care and research centre in Ottawa.
“They may be concerned about getting infected themselves, concerned about getting infected and spreading the infection to vulnerable people … concerned about getting sick impacting their ability to go to school or their family’s ability to go to work.”
Bogoch agrees that it makes sense to wear a mask indoors to reduce your individual risk of COVID. “Be it a school, be it a movie theatre, be it a sports venue: doesn’t matter,” he says. “If it’s an indoor venue, that’s where the vast majority of COVID is transmitted and you can reduce your individual risk of getting this by putting on a mask.”…
Vohra-Miller says what has worked in her household is to talk about masking with her child frequently.
“We explain why we mask — to protect ourselves, to protect our immunocompromised and aging family members, and to protect our community,” she says. “Engaging your child in these discussions and explaining the rationale for wearing a mask gives children the agency and empowers them to advocate for their own safety.”
Thampi says it’s important for school leaders to set the tone early that schools are mask-friendly, making it clear the choice to mask needs to be respected and that inappropriate behaviour around masking won’t be tolerated. People need to be reminded that someone choosing to wear a mask “is a decision they’ve made to protect their community or themselves, and we should respect that.”…
As for sports, Kaplan-Myrth recommends outdoor activities. But if it’s a sport that must be played inside “then you have to require masks.”
“I’ve seen too many of my patients who are in hockey leagues and (other indoor sports), and the whole team gets COVID,” she says.
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Dr. Thomas Piggott, CEO of Peterborough Public Health, said he has no doubt that compulsory masking would help alleviate the “scary” situation his region’s hospitals are dealing with, “but ultimately, I think that’s a political decision at this point.”
“Masking is an intervention that comes with absolutely no known evidence of harms, and that’s the reality. Unfortunately, through the past couple of years, there’s been politicization of masking, so instead of a health prevention, it’s seen as a symbol,” he told CBC…
“One thing we’ve learned very clearly during this pandemic is that masking reduces the transmission of influenza. [It’s] not quite as clear for other respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious disease physician and senior clinical scientist at Sinai Health System in Toronto.