British Columbia’s top doctor recommends non-medical masks in some scenarios

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B.C.’s provincial health officer has joined her federal counterparts in officially recommending the use of non-medical masks in certain situations.

“It is something that we should get used to,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday.

Henry has weighed in on the use of masks several times, and has been consistent in her message that while they do not protect the wearer, they can help the person wearing the mask from spreading infected droplets to others.

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She has also been consistent in her message that the best way to stop the virus is to maintain physical distancing and proper hand hygiene.

But with B.C. reopening parts of its economy this week, Henry said the public will increasingly find themselves in situations where that distancing can’t be maintained — such as on transit, small shops or in personal services businesses where interaction is necessary.

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In those cases, she said, masks can act as an “additional layer” against transmission.

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