Trudeau says Ottawa will help fund coronavirus contact tracing across Canada

Elias Hubbard
May 22, 2020

"We know there is more to do, and as we reopen, we know that citizens will continue to be extremely vigilant and careful about how they act because that is going to be a key part of keeping us safe moving forward", he said.

Tam also said it was initially believed the novel coronavirus was only spreading from people showing symptoms.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has started wearing a mask in public in situations where he could be in close proximity to people. That understanding has changed, as it is now known people can transmit the virus days before symptoms show up.

Stanwick said people should not be using medical-grade masks, since they are needed by health professionals and are in short supply. "It is not a recommendation, it is a permissive use, if you will".

People line up at a mobile COVID-19 testing clinic, in Montreal, on May 19, 2020. He took it off when he stood to speak.

Tam said the recommendation is not mandatory nationwide, as pandemic levels are not even across the country.

"I will certainly be wearing a mask if I can't physically distance, and I encourage all other British Columbians to do the same thing", said Horgan in his daily briefing.

Several countries, including Spain, have made wearing masks compulsory in cases where the two-metre physical distancing rule can't be observed.

She also warned that wearing a mask won't protect an individual from infection on its own, and stressed that physical distancing remains fundamental.

She stressed that a face mask is not to replace other measures like physical distancing, handwashing and staying out of public places when you can.

Trudeau said again that the best measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 are to stay two metres apart, to stay at home whenever possible and to wash hands regularly and frequently.

"It is an added layer of protection", she said.

While provinces and territories are managing contact tracing differently, the federal government is there to help with workers who can make calls every day.

On Wednesday, Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer for Canada, recommended Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren't sure they will be able to physically distance.

Trudeau said he will wear a mask to in-person sittings of Parliament but will remove his mask once at his desk to engage in parliamentary debate.

"The concept is one, I think, of reciprocal protection", Dr. Tam said.

"What we are recommending is that if you can not social distance by six feet then you should wear a mask, but if it inhibits your breathing, then you should not wear a mask", she said.

Trudeau said the government is now working with "number of different partners" on potential contact tracing and exposure notification applications, and that in the coming weeks Ottawa intends to "recommend strongly to Canadians a particular app that will help us manage the spread of COVID-19".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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