Wearing Masks Outdoors – November 16, 2020

Wearing Masks Outdoors – November 16, 2020

Reporter’s question: Now I’d like to know a little bit more about the use of masks outdoors. A friend of mine was walking on the weekend, and she said she passed about 100 people in two hours none of them were wearing a mask. But it was on a trail so people were kind of close at some point. So what’s the protocol in that sort of situation?

Bonnie Henry: … things that we have learned about this virus are that it doesn’t transmit very easily outdoors. And it’s certainly it takes a period of time. So if I’m walking by somebody, even on a trail, if I’m running past somebody. I’m walking down a crowded street and, and we’re just passing by each other. Those are not risky situations in terms of the virus being transmitted to each other.

So no, there’s not a reason necessarily to wear a mask outdoors… We should be focusing on those situations where we know this virus is more likely to transmit, and that’s indoor settings, particularly if we’re spending more than 15 minutes, face to face with somebody, and I think of you know hairdressing salons and barber shops and nail salons and other places where we’re spending time with people.

We know that masks can be very effective as, as part of the different things that we have in place to prevent transmission in those settings, but not in the outdoor settings.  It’s safe going for a walk with somebody by keeping your distance. But then you don’t need to wear masks. Walking past somebody is not a high risk situation.    

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