Fearing a second wave, healthcare workers want masks to be mandatory in public

Fearing a second wave, healthcare workers want masks to be mandatory in public

MONTREAL -- A group of health professionals is asking Quebec to make masks mandatory in closed public places and outdoor spaces where physical distanc

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MONTREAL —
A group of health professionals is asking Quebec to make masks mandatory in closed public places and outdoor spaces where physical distancing guidelines are difficult to respect.

During a press conference in front of the CHUM on Thursday morning, epidemiologist Nima Machouf said covering your face is an inexpensive measure that has been proven to effectively reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

“Pending the development of a vaccine, masks are now recognized as an essential tool to restore some normalcy in our lives and reconnect with the people and activities we love,” Machouf said. “Researchers in epidemic modeling say that for the measure to be effective, 80 per cent of the population must wear a mask.” 

Internal medicine specialist Marie-Michelle Bellon, who worked in the COVID-19 unit at Notre-Dame Hospital, followed Machouf’s speech. 

“Caregivers who are dedicated and who have put their physical and mental health at risk since mid-March must know that everything is being done so that they don’t get hit by a second wave,” she said. 

The former solidarity deputy and microbiologist-infectiologist at the Pierre-LeGardeur Hospital, Amir Khadir, said masks should be mandatory throughout the school network except in elementary schools and at daycares. 

Khadir listed specialists who support this idea: 

Karl Weiss, president of Quebec’s association of microbiologists/infectiologists,

Bernard Mathieu, president of Quebec’s emergency physician association,

Joanne Liu, former president of Doctors Without Borders,

Alain Vadeboncoeur, emergency chief of the Montreal Heart Institute,

François de Champlain, trauma team leader at the MUHC,

Caroline Quach, microbiologist-infectiologist and epidemiologist at CHU Sainte-Justine,

Stanley Vollant, who heads the Innu crisis unit to deal with the pandemic 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.

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