Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam told the public that outdoor protests had a much lower risk of transmitting infection than closed and confined spaces, but there's a catch: if you're going to protest, don't yell.
"Wearing a mask is important. But shouting and making really loud projections can unintentionally increase the risk. So one might want to choose other means of showing or messaging, whether it be signage, or making noise using other instruments, to consider that shouting and that type of behaviour can potentially project more droplets," said Tam to media on Monday.
Tam's medical advise has been criticized by Canadians for either being incorrect, or lagging behind information being used by other countries.
It took until April 6 for Tam to tell Canadians that a face mask helped slow the spread of the virus, as she had previously stated that face masks could perhaps increase the chance of getting sick.
"It can sometimes make it worse, if the person puts their finger in their eye or touches their face under their mask. We would only recommend putting a mask on if you were sick and were entering a medical facility, such as a hospital. We have no recommendation for people to wear a mask (when) going about their daily business," Tam said on January 23, at the start of the outbreak.
Tam has since clarified that her and the Canadian COVID task force came to a consensus that wearing a mask can reduce the chance of spreading the disease to others.
In the meantime, her advice is to protest, but not to let your voice ring out too strong, lest you spread droplets of coronavirus.
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