A man holds a 3M N95 respirator. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A man holds a 3M N95 respirator. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

LETTERS: Hospital requirement to switch masks, actually makes a lot of sense

N95 masks are better quality, but no way to know how long it’s been worn

Editor:

Re: Mask rule is illogical, Jan. 20 letters

On the face of it, the original letter makes sense. Why change an N95 mask for a surgical mask? However, if you look a bit more deeply into it, from a slightly different angle, it begins to make sense.

A person entering Peace Arch Hospital wearing an N95 mask is an unknown quantity. How old is that mask? How saturated? How much of its useful life remains? That mask could have been worn every day, eight hours per day, for the last month. Its ability to filter may, essentially, be zero.

By requiring a switch to the surgical mask, they are dealing with a known-good mask. Admittedly, it’s not as good as a fresh N95, but they know that it’s at least as good as a new surgical mask.

Kevin-Neil Klop, White Rock

COVID-19HospitalsLetter to the Editor