Divided Opinions on the Approaching End of Mandatory Mask Wear in Quebec | Coronavirus

dr. Luc Boileau, the acting national director of public health in Quebec, is expected to announce on Wednesday that wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory in most public places from May 14.

The information first reported on Tuesday by the Diary of Quebec and the Diary of Montreal was confirmed by Radio Canada.

Exceptions

The mask would remain mandatory in health facilities and on public transport. People who have been placed in isolation for a period of 10 days because of COVID-19 must also continue to wear it.

Wearing a mask should stay recommended in situations considered more risky, such as when you are in the presence of vulnerable people.

dr. Luc Boileau will provide an update on the mandatory wearing of masks in public places in Quebec at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist and medical microbiologist at McGill University Health Center (MUHC), believes public health should look twice before announcing the end of a health measure so far in advance.

Despite some stabilization in the number of people hospitalized for treatment for COVID-19 in Quebec, there is no guarantee that the situation will continue to improve by May 14, warns Dr Vinh.

In medicine as well as in other sciences, making predictions can be risky, he reminds us.

Caution

You need to be careful [et éviter de] make promises you can’t keep […] Things can change from week to day or from day to dayconfides the scientist in an interview with Radio-Canada.

We are not in this”companymake predictions and especially don’t make promises based on predictions.

A quote from dr. Donald Vinh, infectiologist and medical microbiologist, MUHC

He believes that people who are at risk, whether because of their age, immune status or physical condition, should continue to wear the mask in public, preferably a good mask, and avoid closed spaces and indoor activities in places.

dr.  Donald Vinh in a hallway.

dr. Donald Vinh believes that public health should avoid announcing the lifting of sanitary measures a few days in advance. (Archive)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Thomas Christopherson

dr. Vinh also recommends that these people be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to increase the odds in their favor.

dr. Elyse Berger Pelletier, emergency physician at the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, relies on the competent authorities to determine whether it is time to end the obligation to wear a mask in most places.

A wind of hope

The doctor believes that public health has always played it safe about easing health measures.

If the authorities see that it’s the right time, I think it also gives the population a bit of hope, then that’s okay.argues Dr. Berger Pelletier.

Emergency doctor Elyse Berger Pelletier at Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis.  In the photo she is wearing a mask.

Emergency physician Elyse Berger Pelletier believes healthcare professionals will stick to the habit of wearing a mask, even if it is no longer required. (Archive)

Photo: Radio Canada

She applauds the expected maintenance of mandatory masks in hospitals. In addition to helping slow the spread of COVID-19, masks and barrier measures in general help protect staff and patients from other viruses such as the flu and gastroenteritis.

There for a long time

The emergency room doctor expects that health workers will continue to wear the mask for a long time, even after it is no longer mandatory.

We have so many viruses in the emergency room these days that we will continue to carry it […] We want to protect ourselves.

A quote from dr. Elyse Berger Pelletier, emergency department, Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis

The president and director general of the Quebec Regrouping of residences for seniors (RQRA), Marc Fortin, hopes that the discounts around mask wearing will be adapted to the different types of institutions where seniors are housed.

Marc Fortin during a video conference call.

Marc Fortin emphasizes the importance of making a distinction between homes for autonomous seniors and homes for semi-autonomous seniors. (Archive)

Photo: Radio Canada

If, in his opinion, the measure should be maintained in the common areas of the CHSLDintermediate means and units (sections or floors) of RPA reserved for those in need of care, self-employed seniors should be exempted.

Avoid Age Discrimination

We would rather treat them like the rest of the population, not ageism. These people are free, they are autonomousargues Mr Fortin.

the RQRA estimate that there are about 150,000 people in RPA in Quebec, which represents 17% of seniors.

Between 60 and 65% of the inhabitants of RPA are completely autonomous.

With information from Sebastian Bovet and Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc

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