To mask or not to mask? Citing new research on COVID-19, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has advised Canadians that they can wear a non-medical face mask in situations where they can’t maintain physical distance (grocery shopping or on public transit, for example). This is an additional measure asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people can take to protect others as medical face masks, such as N95 masks, need to be preserved for healthcare workers. Non-medical masks include homemade masks that are made of cloth and with pockets to insert other masks or filters.

Wearing a non-medical mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, and Dr. Tam has emphasized the importance of staying home, washing your hands, covering coughs with tissues or sleeves and maintaining physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) away from others if you must go outside. However, wearing a mask is another way to prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces, and can help you stop touching your nose and mouth. For more information on how to properly wear and care for non-medical masks safely, visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 website.

Here are five non-medical mask tutorials that you can try at home.

No sew: Using a bandana and two hair elastics

Sew: Using dust bags and elastics

Sew: A tie-dyed cloth mask

Designer Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada shared how she makes her masks in Vogue.

No sew: Using a beanie, blazer and elastics

Tibi’s head of design Traci Bui-Amar and design director Hanna Yoo showed how to DIY face masks from an old beanie and blazer sleeves.

No sew: Using a pillowcase and a stapler


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