FILE – Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday April 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada looking to disinfect used masks, Dr. Tam asks they not be thrown away

Canadian COVID-19 cases top 14,000

Canada’s public health chief says hospitals should not throw away used masks and other protective equipment because experts are looking to see if they can be disinfected and reused.

Speaking Sunday (April 5), Dr. Theresa Tam said protecting health care workers is one of her top priorities in the COVID-19 pandemic. Tam said there are now at least 14,426 cases of the virus in Canada and 258 deaths.

“The highest proportion of deaths are among those aged 80 or older,” she said. “Keeping seniors safe is a very critical part of what we need to do.”

Tam reminded Canadians that the numbers she provides each morning are only those that have been identified to date, and that everyone needs to act like there are cases in their own community, regardless of what has been reported. More than 323,000 people have been tested so far, with just over four per cent positive for the virus.

When asked about wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19, Tam said the most important measures were to physically distance by two metres and to self-isolate. Wearing a mask was an “additional measure” to protect those around you.

“Globally, there is a very much a competitive environment and a shortage environment,” she said.

Speaking to keeping up with mask supplies, Tam said there is work underway looking for the best science that can be used to decontaminate used masks and other equipment.

She says there are companies in Canada with the capacity to do so if the science can be proven.

But she says there is also a signal going to provinces and territories that certain things shouldn’t be thrown away right now so when the science is in place it can be applied immediately.

Tam says disinfecting used equipment is “one of the most worthwhile pursuits” when it comes to personal protective equipment.

READ MORE: Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read