Masks

There are some plastic masks in healthcare that are deemed class 1 medical devices and are approved for use by Health Canada. A COVID-19 medical device may be approved for sale or import into Canada through several pathways and an approved list can be viewed at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/authorized/other.html


Section 5.15 of the Order under the HPA notes that, a “mask” means a commercial medical or non-medical mask or a home-made mask made as per the PHAC instructions located at: https://www.canada.ca/en/publichealth/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/sew-no-sewinstructions-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html, that covers the nose and mouth.

 

While it is permitted to wear a commercial medical mask, Health Canada recommends that medical masks, including surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators, must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients. Government messaging continues to be:


Your mask can be a commercial non-medical mask or a homemade mask that covers your nose and mouth. A face shield cannot be worn instead of a non-medical mask. Face shields protect your eyes, but don’t protect other people.

Non-medical masks should:

  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least 2 layers [now recommending 3 layers] of tightly woven material fabric, like cotton or linen
  • be large enough to completely (and comfortably) cover the nose and mouth without gaping

 

Non-medical masks should not:

  • impair vision or interfere with tasks
  • be made of non-breathable materials
  • be made of plastic, unless there are at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (like cotton or linen) surrounding the plastic, without gaping
  • be secured with tape or other inappropriate materials
  • be made exclusively of materials that easily fall apart, such as tissues
  • be shared with others
  • have exhalation valves