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

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

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

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read