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

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

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

The City of Surrey is currently working through the initial phase for a park that’ll be built at 72 Avenue and 191 Street in Clayton. (Image via City of Surrey)
New park to be built in Clayton Heights

City of Surrey asking for feedback from Clayton residents

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read