On Tuesday 12 September, Dr Theresa Tam appeared with colleagues at a press briefing.She and other health officials wore masks and Tam encouraged Canadians to prepare themselves for the colder months:
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I do think now is the time to get your masks ready if you don't already have them. In our own particular context, we certainly, in our area, there's been an uptick in some of the COVID-19 indicators.
Mask mandates could return in Canada
Though many of these instances only lasted a short while and have since returned to normal, Canadians are worried the mask mandates could make a comeback.
What Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said
It looks like this is a real possibility. Health Canada notes on its website that ‘National percent positivity has been steadily increasing in recent weeks, with percent positivity at 15.1% in the latest reporting week’.
Canada has been hit with both the Pirola and Eris variant, just like the UK. In a clip of the press briefing posted on X, Dr Theresa Tam can be heard explaining that several of her colleagues have caught Covid, which is another reason for her wearing a mask.
The Ottawa Hospital has also stated that face masks are now required in waiting rooms and clinical areas, and are 'encouraged, but optional,' in hallways, cafeterias, lifts, administrative spaces and meeting rooms 'for the duration of the respiratory virus season', as reported by Newsweek.
However, many have responded online with strong opinions about this potential move. One user called Tam a ‘jokester’ while another accused the whole thing of being a money-making exercise.
Newsweek: Canada Official Tells Residents to Get 'Masks Ready'