While plenty of Vancouver Islanders have gotten into the habit of mask wearing, far fewer have established the routine of wearing them properly.
Nurse and University of Victoria professor, Debra Sheets, says she sees people wearing masks improperly every time she goes out.
She emphasized that wearing a mask under one’s nose, mouth or chin defeats the purpose of wearing a mask at all.
“It may be easier for you to breathe, but you’re more likely to get infected by the virus,” Sheets said.
She explained that in order for masks to protect people they need to be secured “above the nose, below the chin and tight to your cheeks.”
Disposable masks need to be thrown out after each use and reusable masks need to be washed every day, Sheets added.
People also need to be washing or sanitizing their hands before putting their mask on and after taking it off, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I think here on the Island we get a sense of complacency because we are more isolated than larger cities,” Sheets said “But, we are seeing a rise in cases.”
As of Oct. 15, there were 14 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, none of them in hospital.
According to federal data from Sept. 20, B.C. had the highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita in Canada.
“As a community we need to come together,” Sheets said.
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