As the highly transmissible variants of the COVID-19 virus starts to spread in Canada and other nations, some public health officials around the globe are positioning themselves for face mask advice.
The Variants which were first discovered in South Africa and the United Kingdom have been discovered in Canada, including the United Kingdom’s B117 variant of United Kingdom, which according to studies is at least 56 percent more contagious than the original strain of the virus.
The provincial health officer of B.C., Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed recently that there were seven cases of the U.K. variant and four cases of the variant from South Africa in B.C.
To prevent further transmission of COVID-19 variants, stepping up mask wearing standard may be the next line of action in Canada.
According to November update to health guidelines, Canada currently recommends using three-layer masks with a filter layer in the middle.
While the World Health Organization revealed that officials do not plan to update guidelines around the use of fabric masks, France and Germany had advised people to put on medical-grade masks in public places instead of fabric masks.
Also, face masks have offered a lifeline for some businesses in Toronto during the pandemic, but local manufacturers say they are used to adapting to changes in public health guidelines as far as their businesses are concerned.
The owner of athleisure clothing company Olive and Splash, Melanie Wong, started designing masks at the beginning of the pandemic and she has designed around nine different iterations since then.
She said: “When face masks first came out, nobody really knew about masking.”
“There were so many different health conditions, from lungs to yeast infections in the mouth that we were hearing about. We had to figure out how we could tailor a mask to fit all different kinds of lifestyles, environment, personal preferences while following government regulations as well.”
Wong currently offers masks with two layers, three layers, and four layers.
She added: “If guidelines were changed to incorporate medical layer into [masks], we would be happy to do so. We’re here, we’re ready and willing to do whatever is recommended.”