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Make Masks Mandatory in Greater Vancouver

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British Columbia is setting record highs in cases on a near daily bases. There are now more active cases in the province than at any other time during the pandemic. Along with that are thousands more who are self-isolating.

The majority of current and new cases arise within the Greater Vancouver area, yet Vancouver and Surrey are the only major cities in Canada without a mask mandate.

I am a professor in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University with expertise in population and public health and I am asking the Greater Vancouver and provincial health authorities to implement a temporary mask mandate in Greater Vancouver.

A temporary mask mandate is not meant to replace other public health measures such as physical distancing, but physical distancing is not foolproof. Superspreader events tell us indoor transmission can occur beyond two metres and keeping a two metre distance is not always possible. The Public Health Agency of Canada has recently indicated the virus may linger in the air limiting the effect of distancing.

Mask mandates work:

The current messaging from local and provincial health authorities has created a piecemeal approach where some places have mandates and others do not, leading to confusion and reduced compliance, and therefore, reduced effectiveness. This ambiguity also makes it challenging for small business owners who wish to enforce mask use to protect their employees and costumers. Many are concerned about a loss of business if the mandate does not come from the province or some similar authority.

The benefits of a temporary mask mandate include:

  • Greater mask use.
  • Reduced number of cases.
  • Less people isolating.
  • Fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Less reliance on restrictive and devastating public health measures.
  • Reduced job losses from fewer public health restrictions.

As with mask mandates in other Canadian jurisdictions, a temporary mask mandate in the Greater Vancouver could exempt people with physical and cognitive challenges and children. With temporary allowances for mask removal while eating or exercising.

Mask mandates = more mask use = less cases = less restrictions, job losses, hospitalizations and deaths



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Scott Lear needs your help with “Minister Adrian Dix: Make Masks Mandatory in Greater Vancouver”. Join Scott and 16,737 supporters today.