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Non-medical masks recommended as restrictions loosen in Manitoba

Restrictions coming off, masks going on
WATCH: Non-medical masks are expected to take a more central role in peoples' lives after a recommendation from Canada's top doctor. Global's Malika Karim explains what makes masks effective and how to use them properly.

With more businesses possibly opening soon, homemade face masks in Manitoba are going to become a common sight.

Health Canada officials now recommend non-medical masks be worn when you’re heading out for prolonged periods where physical distancing isn’t possible, such as in busy stores, shopping areas and while using public transportation.

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“People may be taking the bus or the subway to work and of course people are trying their best to spread apart and there are policies and rules to make sure people are spread apart, [but] despite peoples goodwill that might not be a setting where people spread apart,” said Infectious Disease Physician, Dr. Isaac Bogish.

“There might be people unintentionally clustering together. That’s a really good place to consider wearing a mask.”

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Although cloth masks will not protect someone from contracting COVID-19, Dr. Bogosh says it’s still a good safeguard for the community.

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“Especially indoors and in close contact with other people, remember that’s protecting those around you,” Dr. Bogosh said.

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There are some guidelines to know when using non-medical masks.

They should not be shared or be made of non-breathable material and should not be placed on children under the age of two or anyone unable to remove them without assistance or who have breathing difficulties already.

Health Canada also recommends non-medical masks be washed regularly, maintain their shape after washing and drying, and should cover both the mouth and nose.