Physicians ask B.C.'s top doc to make mask use mandatory - InfoNews

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Physicians ask B.C.'s top doc to make mask use mandatory

People wear face masks as they walk through a shopping mall in Montreal, Saturday, July 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
August 05, 2020 - 5:00 PM

More than 80 B.C. healthcare professionals are asking provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix to mask wearing mandatory in public spaces.

In the open letter, physicians are asking that masks be mandated on B.C.’s transit system, in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor crowds when it is difficult to social distance from one another.

The doctors point to the fact there is no harm from mask use, and believe by making masks mandatory, it could help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“British Columbians have sacrificed so much to flatten the curve, and we have been successful. We are now at an important juncture in our efforts to again take control of the spread of COVID-19. Mask wearing in addition to current physical distancing measures and hand hygiene can assist in the safe reopening of public life and can prevent additional outbreaks. An immediate implementation of mandated mask policies will help protect British Columbians. We ask that you not let our sacrifices go to waste,” reads the letter.

Yesterday, Aug. 4, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province will not be mandating mask use in schools.

"We absolutely do see masks in certain aspects of school being important, particularly where adults aren't together and where children can't maintain those safe distances," she said. "But no, we have no intention of making masks mandatory and I actually don't believe there's evidence to support mask wearing by children in the classroom setting."

READ MORE: Dr. Henry won't mandate masks for students

While there’s no indication Henry will be mandating masks across the province unless there’s a surge in COVID-19 cases, on public transit she has said they should be used while onboard. BC Transit is also recommending that riders wear masks.

A recent Angus Reid poll has also indicated that Canadians are in support of mandatory mask policies.

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