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Some doctors call for mandatory mask use in Alberta to prevent spread of COVID-19

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CALGARY — A group of Alberta doctors and scientists is calling for the mandatory use of masks in all indoor spaces outside the home, in crowds and on public transit.

The group, which has a campaign called Masks4Canada, held a news conference in Calgary after writing an open letter to the province earlier this week with the recommendation.

Dr. Joe Vipond, an emergency room doctor in Calgary, says there is evidence that wearing masks has worked to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in other jurisdictions.

Another physician, Dr. Amy Tan, says mandatory masks are important as the province moves forward with reopening the economy.

Premier Jason Kenney says the doctors raise an important point.

He says he has been an advocate for using face coverings or masks to protect others, but he stopped short of making them mandatory in Alberta.

"I really don't want to end up in a situation where we have police or bylaw officers ticketing people or arresting people for not wearing a face covering," he said Friday.

"The implications of that are just deeply problematic, and so, instead, what we’ve opted for is a very strong recommendation."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020

The Canadian Press





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