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

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool speaks with Canadian media

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver speaks on a variety of topics during Zoom press conference

Cohort Cup hockey tournament coming to Abbotsford

Abbotsford Centre hosting minor hockey event for U18, U16 and U15 talents

Abbotsford Soccer Association partners with Canadian Tire

ASA and locally owned and operated retail store teaming up for youth

Abbotsford family participates in fundraiser for melanoma patients

Move for Melanoma supports lost wages, uncovered treatment costs and more

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Most Read