Is it time to bring back the COVID-19 mask rules?  The provinces are lagging behind, but the risk of infection is “really high now”, experts say

Is it time to bring back the COVID-19 mask rules? The provinces are lagging behind, but the risk of infection is “really high now”, experts say

Is it time to bring back the COVID-19 mask rules? The provinces are lagging behind, but the risk of infection is “really high now”, experts say

With the new spike in COVID-19 and a shocking flu season, many are wondering and debating whether it’s time to bring back mask mandates. However, misinformation online and the lack of a coordinated public health response have left people confused about the right course of action.

Alberta Premier Daniel Smith said last week that he will not allow further cover-up mandates Following a court ruling on the government’s decision to remove and block those mandates from children in schools.

Despite recent increases in respiratory viruses, flu and COVID-19 in Canada, Prime Minister Smith said facemasks have a “detrimental effect” on children’s mental health.

The harmful effects of masking on children’s mental health, development and education in classrooms are well understood and we must turn the page on what is a very difficult time for children, their parents and teachers.Alberta Premier Daniel Smith

On the other hand, in states like Ontario and British Columbia, many public health experts still maintain that masking in large, enclosed spaces provides vital protection against COVID-19.

What do experts and regions say?

Dr. Fahad Razak, former head of Ontario’s COVID-19 scientific advisory, recently said that: it’s time to bring back mask mandates as Ontario sees a surge in new BQ.1 and BQ1.1 Omicron sub-exchanges.

Dr. Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital, also said the health care system is under tremendous strain, which is usually seen at the height of a bad flu season.

“Personally, I would say the criteria to require something like a mask mandate is clearly here,” said Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital.

“Anyone who says, “Let’s not do that,” I would ask. “What is the alternative at this point? How do we maintain a system that has so little capacity, how do we keep it running through the winter?”

According to UofT Associate Professor Dr. Tara Moriarty, Canadian COVID Hazard Index A report released last Friday shows that traces of COVID in wastewater across Canada have nearly tripled in the past two weeks.

Moriarty said this data shows that the number of people infected in Canada is currently 18 times higher than the number of people infected at the same time last year.

“That means 1 in 24 people in Canada are currently infected,” he said.

“That’s why it’s so important not only to wear masks, but also to avoid crowded indoor settings… for everyone. Your chances of contracting COVID are really high right now,” he writes in his latest article. tweet. “Also, even if you’re not worried about contracting COVID yourself, about half of people in Canada are medically at higher risk from COVID because of age or underlying health conditions. Or they live with someone,” he added.

Anna Banerjee, an associate professor and expert in pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, agrees that with high cases of respiratory viruses and hospital overcrowding, bringing back masks would be the right thing to do.

“Yes, definitely yes,” he wrote in an email Yahoo News Canada.

All experts agree that masking, combined with bivalent booster shots, can help reduce cases and ease the pressure on hospitals.

Public health advice on official City of Toronto website It’s also recommended that keeping up with vaccinations and wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the flu.

A “Respiratory Dispersion Guide” notice sent out by the city.

We can layer our defenses against COVID-19 and respiratory viruses with a few simple steps:

  • Be up-to-date with your vaccinations, including fall COVID-19 stimulator and: flu vaccine when eligible for the best protection from getting very sick from COVID-19 and the flu.

  • Communicate outside if possible. there is a lower risk outside than inside.

  • Wear high-quality, well-fitting clothing mask, especially indoors and based on situation and situation. Masks are strongly recommended in indoor public places, and especially if you are around people who are at higher risk or have health problems.

  • Stay home if you are is sick or has symptomseven if they are mild.

  • If you have symptomsget tested for COVID-19 and treatment if you are eligible.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands, etc. frequently.

Ontario’s health care system under tremendous pressure

According to the latest information: Emergency rooms across the state were forced to close for hours pressure. Doctors believe the recent spike in COVID-19 and flu admissions has created a “perfect storm” at hospitals with wait times of up to 20 hours or more.

According to the official Health Canada websitemore than 21,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country last week.

It Canada’s COVID Hazard Index It also says nearly 7,000 people have been admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 in Canada in the past week. The data shows that 12 percent of hospital beds in an already overburdened system are unavailable for patients with COVID-19.

Moriarty also noted that while we hear that COVID-19 is getting better, the statistics say otherwise.

“Covid hospitalizations last week totaled 6,962. However, the average weekly COVID hospitalizations in Canada since the start of COVID has been 3,032. This data clearly shows that the number of COVID hospitalizations in Canada this week is twice what it has been during the entire epidemic. to this day in Canada,” he said.

“Even if you distinguish between patients admitted who already had COVID-19 (‘healthy’ cases) and patients admitted because of COVID (‘cases’), we still get a number that 1 , is 7 times more than. what we have seen before,” he adds.

Many ERs report high patient volumes and long wait times, with children’s hospitals in particular reporting high demand.

University of Toronto professor and epidemiologist Dr. David Fisman recently published a memo sent by McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH). Twitter:.

The memo clearly states that inpatient occupancy is approaching 135 percent and that critical care and emergency departments are facing “extreme challenges.”

As a result, MCH is adopting various mitigation measures effective November 4, such as reducing the number of same-day admissions for pediatric surgeries to just one per day.

The hospital is asking for volunteers in all programs at MCH to assist the hospital teams, and they are exploring the transfer of youth and adolescents to other Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospitals.

Two days ago Fisman released another person Important UHN memo on Twitter which stated that Toronto General Hospital was under a Critical Care Bed Alert, meaning that the CVICU, CICU and MSICU had reached their total bed capacity.

The release also noted that the hospital has restricted people to safely open and operate all physical critical care beds.

UHN told its staff to “avoid” admissions from other hospitals that require a critical care bed and to stop sending patients to the emergency department.

Recently, CHEO officials at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, painted a vivid picture in his emergency room, the past few months have been said to be the busiest in the hospital’s history.

The hospital is operating at capacity, with pediatric wards at 134 percent occupancy, while pediatric intensive care is at 124 percent. The emergency department sees an average of 229 patient visits per day, while it’s designed for 150 people, said CHEO President and CEO Alex Munter.

Moreover, at the beginning of last week. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto said waiting time up to 12 hours due to extremely high patient volume.

Experts are trying to raise awareness and fight misinformation online

With Canadian press files

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