It's been cold for a quite some time but it is worth repeating public health mask wearing advice for cold weather.
We think one upside of wearing masks in winter is they help keep your lower face warm while out for a walk.
But will your mask work if it gets wet and/or freezes?
No, a frozen mask is not fully effective.
Health Canada and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control advise that once a mask gets wet, it's no longer fully effective. A frozen mask becomes harder to breathe through but, more importantly, no longer provides the benefit of capturing respiratory droplets and preventing them from leaving your masked face.
Recently cited by CBC, Dr. Matthew Oughton, an assistant professor at McGill University and an infectious diseases specialist recommends:
- if you are going to wear a mask outdoors in the cold for a long period of time, have two (or three) as back-up so there is a dry one available
- And most important: make sure the mask is cloth. The paper kind — the surgical style ones — degrade and tear far more easily when they get wet
If you're simply going for a walk in the neighbourhood or taking the dog for a jaunt, the risk of transmission is very low.
A mask is needed when going in and out of stores, taking transit and for other trips outside of your home. Keep it on the whole time and do not touch your the mask due to the potential of contamination by handling it.
You can read more from the CBC here:
As two formidable Toronto women, we started our small business by hand-sewing all the masks that we sell. We cut four pieces of cotton for every mask and sew them all together to make a smartly tailored, handmade cotton face mask. We take comfort and fit very seriously. You can adjust your mask to your unique face and head size to achieve a comfortable fit, with no gaps. We are careful to select all-natural, tightly woven quilters' cottons in all our masks, and we wash and tumble dry before hand-sewing each mask. We have over 100 styles to choose from, and adding more each week. We are proud to operate an ethical business and having a positive impact on the environment. You can feel good knowing that each mask is sewn by hand right here in Canada.