Horgan, Henry stress masks last line of defence, not an 'invincibility shield' - InfoNews

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Horgan, Henry stress masks last line of defence, not an 'invincibility shield'

FILE PHOTO - B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19, Monday, August 10, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
August 12, 2020 - 2:32 PM

The premier and B.C.'s top doctor continue to defend the province's policy that mask wearing not be mandatory.

“It’s our view that we don’t want people to believe that masks will be an invincibility shield for them,” Premier John Horgan said at a news conference today, Aug. 12. “It’s one of the many tools that Dr. Henry’s laid out for the public.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stressed masks are only one layer in protecting against COVID-19 and one of the last layers that should be used.

“I don’t believe that having a public mandate is the way to go in terms of masks because it may indicate that people may think this is a shield and you don’t have to do the other things,” Henry said.

“We know that physical distancing works. We know that keeping your contacts small works. We know that in settings, like schools that are very controlled, we can put in layers of measures that protect us. We’ve said from the very beginning that personal protective equipment, like masks, in the community are the last line of defence," she said.

Henry added there are reasons some people can’t wear masks and those people need to get the services they require as well.

The disease is spreading in places where people would not wear masks, like private parties, she said. Masks have been mandated in some businesses only because some of the other forms of protection were not in place.

“The mask, by itself, is not something that is going to stop all transmission from happening but it certainly is one of those layers in some situations,” Henry said.

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