A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. Protective face masks along with other personal protective equipment have become the new litter being found on the ground during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Dispose of your face masks safely, top doctor urges Canadians

Leaving masks lying around is bad for both environment and transmission

Canada’s chief public health officer voiced her approval of the growing number of Canadians wearing face masks but urged people to dispose of them properly in her Sunday (June 14) statement.

Dr. Theresa Tam cited a Leger poll released Tuesday (June 9) that showed 51 per cent of Canadians wear face masks to the grocery store, up eight per cent from two weeks prior.

However, Tam raised concerns raised over litter from face masks and disposable gloves.

“Single use masks should be replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled and disposed of properly in a lined garbage bin,” she said.

“Do not leave discarded masks in shopping carts or on the ground where other people may come into contact with them.”

Leaving masks lying around both contributes to litter and the risk of infection for other people, Tam added.

Tam reminded Canadians that wearing a mask does not mean they should leave the house when sick but that she encouraged a “face covering as extra layer of protection” in addition to washing hands and physical distancing.

As of Sunday, Canada had 98,410 test positive cases, including 8,107 deaths and 59,354 people who have recovered from COVID-19. More than 2.1 million people have been tested for the virus since the pandemic began and Tam said an average of 33,000 were tested each day last week, with two per cent testing positive.

READ MORE: Gloves and masks become problem litter as COVID-19 prompts people to cover up


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Lightning blamed for multiple fire starts across Kootenays

Southeast Fire Centre says ground crews, air support responding to fires near Revelstoke, Nakusp

Stories decorate city pathways for new reading initiative

The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre began the initiative in support of the local early years community

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Metal detector rings true for Cranbrook couple

A Cranbrook couple went looking for a missing ring after reading a plea on Facebook

Local track and field athlete recognized for prowess

Cohen Musschoot placed third in Alberta at 2019’s track and field provincials

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read