Non-surgical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, says Manitoba’s best doctor


Manitobans can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by wearing non-medical masks, says Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.

While symptomatic people account for most of the spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, there is also growing evidence of an asymptomatic spread, and wearing a blanket can help prevent this, said Roussin. at a press conference on Monday morning.

“If you choose to wear a non-medical mask, if you go out in public, you can protect others,” he said.

However, this is still not the best way to protect others, said Roussin.

There were 204 cases in the province between March 10 and April 6, according to public health officials. (Jacques Marcoux / CBC)

” I do not want [masks] to be a distraction. The real message is to stay home. ”

Previously, Roussin said that masks are not necessary to protect people from COVID-19 and that they should practice physical distancing and hand hygiene.

WATCH | Dr Roussin on the use of facial masks:

Non-surgical masks can help stem the spread of COVID-19, says Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Public Health Officer for the Province of Manitoba. 1:40

But messages from public health officials are changing as new scientific evidence is introduced, he said.

“Our goal is to provide Manitobans with the best possible advice. Our goal is not to stay consistent, but to respond to information as we go, “he said.

People who wear masks should clean them frequently, be careful not to touch their mouth, nose or eyes with them, and wash their hands often, he said. They must also maintain their physical distance and stay at home as much as possible.

Roussin’s comments come after a similar message from the best doctor in the country.

WATCH | Dr. Theresa Tam on the use of non-surgical face masks:

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, spoke to journalists on Parliament Hill on Monday. 2:22

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Federal Public Health Officer, said on Monday that Canadians can use non-medical masks and social distancing to limit the transmission of the deadly virus when they are only doing essential tasks, like grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy. .

“Wearing a non-medical mask is one more step you can take to protect others around you,” said Tam – while warning that a non-medical mask does not necessarily protect the person wearing it.

“A non-medical mask can reduce the risk of your respiratory droplets coming into contact with others or landing on surfaces. “

WATCH | What to know before putting on a non-surgical mask:

Dr. Samir Gupta provides crucial information about wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic and what to think about before putting on a mask. 2h30

Roussin also announced Monday that Manitoba has a new case of COVID-19, bringing the number of positive laboratory-confirmed and probable cases to 204. The number of active cases, that is, people who still have symptoms of the virus and have not recovered, is 185.

There are still 11 people in the hospital and seven in intensive care, he said.

Although only one new case was announced on Monday, Roussin was not optimistic about the future.

“Don’t expect many days like this,” he said.

Lanette Siragusa, chief nurse of Shared Health, said there were still 14 health workers infected with the virus.

As of April 4, 12,514 COVID-19 tests have been completed in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux / CBC)

The Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 458 tests on Sunday; as of Monday, a total of 13,476 tests were performed.

The province is considering expanding testing criteria, said Roussin, but wants to make sure it is sustainable and that people at high risk remain a priority.

‘Stay at home’

Roussin reiterated that people should stay at home and not go out in public, even in places of worship, especially given the upcoming religious holidays, including Passover, Easter and Ramadan.

“We know in other jurisdictions that many transmissions have occurred at church gatherings,” he said.

Few people venture onto the streets of Winnipeg due to physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Tyson Koschik / CBC)

“You don’t just put yourself at risk, but put yourself at the risk of all Manitobans when you attend rallies like this.”

With improved weather conditions, Roussin also discouraged residents of the province from going to their cottages because they could overwhelm small health centers if they fell ill.

WATCH | Full press conference on COVID-19 | April 6, 2020:

Provincial authorities report on the COVID-19 outbreak: Monday, April 6, 2020. 58:21

He has discouraged people from going to busy parks where it is difficult to be two meters apart.

“If you wanted to enter a park, you have to be absolutely sure that you can maintain that physical distance. Otherwise, you have to turn around and find another place, ”said Roussin.

More help

As the number of patients increases in the province, the number of people battling the virus also increases.

Siragusa announced that 209 retired physicians have signed up to help screen patients for COVID-19.

So far, the occupancy rate for intensive care units in Manitoba is around 70% and there are enough nurses to staff them, she said.

Siragusa will ensure that all healthcare workers have personal protective equipment, including masks, surgical gowns and gloves, by April 13, she said.

On Friday, the province also launched a call for proposals for non-hospital facilities where less serious COVID-19 patients can isolate themselves in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.

Manitobans can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by wearing non-medical masks, says Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. 2:13

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