The Canadian Association of PPE Manufacturers ("CAPPEM") is pleased the Ontario government’s back to school plan includes mandatory indoor masking for students and the improvement of ventilation. These measures are essential to minimize the impact of a fourth wave.
“We applaud Dr. Moore for mandating masks for students this year. We support all interventions including ventilation, screening, TTI, and vaccination, but there is no doubt masks make the biggest difference of all,” said Barry Hunt, President, Canadian Association of PPE Manufacturers. “With only 5 weeks to go, the type and quality of masks used will be the deciding factor in the success of school re-opening. Masks work, but better masks work better. And N95 respirators work best of all.”
The severity and virulence of Delta, Delta Plus, and Lambda variants means the same old intervention measures are less effective now than last September. Of the roughly two million Ontario students returning to school in September, 1.3 million students are expected to be unvaccinated. The potential for cases of Long CoVID among children and community spread of CoVID to rise on Opening Day remains high. The question is, how much? Will it be 0.5%, 5%, or 50%?
The answer depends largely on the masks or respirators children wear to school. Cloth masks are a minimum requirement. CAPPEM continues to urge parents, school boards and government to select better protection for their children. High-quality medical or non-medical procedure masks reduce risk considerably, especially if fitted with a mask brace. Disposable N95 respirators are even better, especially when fit-tested. And reusable N95 respirators are considered the ultimate in protection. All of these products are now manufactured in Canada (https://cappem.ca/canadian-ppe). Several Canadian manufacturers are rushing to bring new children’s sizes online in time for September including Trebor Rx, CanadaMasQ, and Dent-X.
CAPPEM is comprised of over 30 Canadian companies who answered the government’s call to produce PPE in Canada. CAPPEM’s goal is to produce better masks to better protect Canadians.
For more information about CAPPEM, please visit www.cappem.ca or follow us on Twitter (@CAPPEM2).