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Canadian Blood Services face flak over ending mandatory masking this week

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Canadian Blood Services is facing criticism from some donors after suspending mandatory masking at its buildings and collection events.

The agency says people are still welcome to wear masks if they want, but mandatory masking and physical distancing were suspended as of Monday after consultation with medical and epidemiology experts.

Jan Brown, who says she has donated blood more than 50 times, says she now doesn’t want to donate in light of the agency’s decision because she doesn’t want to risk getting COVID-19.

Read more: Mask-wearing a ‘personal choice’ as COVID-19 measures ease: PHAC

Ottawa resident Jamie O’Neil says Canadian Blood Services’ decision puts donors and their loved ones at risk.

She says she won’t be donating blood soon because she supports her 81-year-old father who has cancer and she doesn’t want to risk getting sick with COVID-19 and passing the virus to him.

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Canadian Blood Services has noted that it is a community setting, not a hospital or health-care setting, and as such is able to shift from mandatory to optional measures on masking.

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