New update – Health Canada April 2020

Considerations for homemade masks to protect against COVID-19 – april 3 – 2020

Notice to General Public and Healthcare Professionals

Health Canada is advising the public, as well as healthcare professionals (HCPs) to use caution when considering the use of homemade masks to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

Homemade masks may include those that are:

  • made of cloth e.g., cotton
  • with pockets to insert other masks or filters
  • to be worn over N95 respirators (in an effort to reuse respirators)

Homemade masks are not medical devices and consequently are not regulated, like medical masks and respirators. Their use poses a number of limitations:

  • they have not been tested to recognized standards
  • they may not provide complete protection against virus-sized particles
  • the edges are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth
  • the fabrics are not the same as used in surgical masks or respirators
  • they can be difficult to breathe through and can prevent you from getting the required amount of oxygen needed by your body
  • they may require frequent adjustment, increasing the amount of times your hands come into contact with your face and increasing the probability of infection


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