'Do our part': Health experts urge masks indoors due to COVID and flu

‘Do our part’: Health experts urge masks indoors due to COVID and flu

As BC has now entered cold and flu seasonExperts are urging people to wear masks indoors to stop the spread of airborne respiratory viruses despite the lifting of the mask mandate months ago.

Dr Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of British Columbia and a member of the BC COVID-19 Modeling Group, said they know that COVID-19 is mainly spread through the air, so masks are still one of the effective ways to prevent person-to-person transmission. transition.

Better ventilation or being outdoors too.

“We’ve already entered flu and respiratory season with a lot of patients, a lot of people in hospitals, a lot of people out of work and recovering from COVID,” she said.

“So it will be a double blow to the health care system.”

Otto said she still wears a mask at the grocery store and on public transportation and urges others to do the same to try to stop the spread of any respiratory virus as much as possible.

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“I think we can all participate and do our part,” she added.

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Otto said the most up-to-date COVID variable in Canada right now is BQ.1.1, and it’s spreading at a faster rate than all the other variables. She said she is known to have mutations that help her better evade the immune system.

“A lot of us are likely to get infected, so it’s another good reason to hide because we know that this particular virus, if it hits you, is more likely to cause infection. So it’s best to keep it off your body mask,” Otto said.

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The Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, said he is still wearing a mask in indoor public spaces in order to protect himself and those around him.

“Wearing masks is something you can do for your friends and family. In indoor public places, I wear a mask, and not everyone does, it is not mandatory but still recommended. And I recommend people still do it, especially at this time of year.”

He said people should wear special masks when they are inside with a group of people they don’t know.

On Friday, Dix said officials are concerned about the strain on the health care system with cases of COVID and cases of the flu.

But he said the key is still vaccinations.

“Can I say one thing? They should be vaccinated,” Dix said. “I think people have responded well to both vaccinations, flu shots and COVID-19, they have responded to that very well so far. But we need to do more.”

He added that more than 500,000 people in the province have already been vaccinated against influenza this year, but that number needs to increase.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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