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Will wearing masks in public places help prevent a second wave?

Toronto is introducing a bylaw to make masks mandatory city-wide.

Mayor John Torry just introduced a bylaw whereby wearing masks in Toronto would be mandatory in public spaces, both indoor and outdoor. If approved, the bill would take affect on July 7. CTV News Network just interviewed infectious disease specialist Dr. Matthew Oughton about this new bylaw, and whether or not mandatory masks in public spaces could help prevent a second wave.

“We don’t know for certain,” Dr. Oughton said. “My expectation is that what it would do is greatly reduce the risk of transmission. I don’t know if I would say that making masks mandatory in public spaces would completely prevent a second wave, but it would greatly slow it down, and thus enable us to action and get the start of the second wave under control much faster.

“What we’re going to see in the weeks to come is not one large massive wave sweeping across a particular province or country. It’s going to be regional outbreaks, and I’m willing to bet that the areas that have instituted mandatory public masking, such as what Toronto is doing, are going to be less likely to develop a substantial increase in community spread because of that policy.” ■

For more details on the Coronavirus situation in Toronto, and about their mandatory masks bylaw, please visit the City of Toronto COVID-19 portal.

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