Strathmore has done a great job in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases, and through proper hygiene practices, and social distancing the active cases, and risks of an outbreak in town will decrease.  Some of the suggestions from Alberta Health Services is the use of non-surgical masks in locations of increased populations such as malls, and the grocery stores where people are not able to maintain recommended social distancing.

The mask may not protect you from contamination but it will stop you from releasing the water droplets that can contain the virus, thus slowing the spread.  A video featuring Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw describing the purpose and proper use of the masks has been posted to the Alberta Health Services website.  During the video, she demonstrates a step by step method of keeping the mask clean from when you remove it from the clean ziplock bag that you store your mask in, to making sure the mask completely covers your nose and mouth.  Each of the steps will keep you from contaminating the mask and cross-contaminating the surfaces you might come into contact with.

Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers and other people that have to come into much closer contact with the elements surrounding the virus such as providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.  As people become used to the idea of resuming normal routines, wearing a mask can provide some comfort to the wearer, and also be used as an effective tool. 

Lauren McGougan, Public Information Officer working within the Pandemic Response Coordination Team of Strathmore states, "You can expect to see more people wearing masks in public. This is a personal decision, and there is a lot of information from our trusted sources about its benefits. The Town of Strathmore encourages everyone to visit to learn more about our province’s perspective on using masks in public."

Prime Minister Trudeau said a national recommendation on where and when Canadians should be wearing a face mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will be coming later today.

For a link to the use and methods in using masks and other useful information regarding the Alberta relaunch strategy follow the link here.