Coronavirus masks: Do you actually need to wear one?

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As scientists and public health officials learn more about the novel coronavirus, new advice is emerging about the question on everyone’s minds: should you wear a mask when you leave your house?

According to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, masks — both medical and non-medical — can be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

People who don’t have symptoms can wear non-medical masks when in public as “an additional measure” to protect other people, Tam said in a news conference Monday.

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There is growing evidence that people infected with the virus are able to transmit it before they develop symptoms, she said.

It may also be possible that people who have the virus but never develop symptoms are able to transmit the virus as well.

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“Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms, is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain,

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