Doctors of BC are hoping everyone can stick to the message Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry sent out in Monday’s COVID-19 update.

Henry said that while wearing non-medical face masks is not a public health order, it is now an expectation that British Columbians will wear them when out in public spaces.

She also announced a new order, limiting the number of people allowed in private gatherings to your household, plus six.

It’s something the President of Doctors of BC Dr. Kathleen Ross can agree with.

“Masks are an additional tool in our toolbox to try and lower the number of cases of COVID-19 alongside the handwashing, staying home when we’re sick, physically distancing, not touching our face. They’re not a replacement for these steps but they actually do hope to reduce the number of cases.”

Dr. Ross adds that in some cases people cannot wear masks for medical reasons, and that is okay. But every little act we do – combined together – can make a real difference.

“I think we have to be respectful that there are a number of people who cannot wear a mask, so mandating a mask may put some additional pressure on those people who simply can’t wear one.”

“Other folks sometimes find masks more difficult to wear, and I do encourage people to try an alternative mask if they are struggling with that, feeling claustrophobic or uncomfortable in their mask. Different masks fit differently and are different comforts.”

The mask reminder comes at an important time for Vancouver Island residents, who just saw three new cases reported on the Island Wednesday, bringing the total case count to 253.

Because the Comox Valley hosts one of the larger airports on the island as well, incoming flights from other parts of the country can also be a concern.

Just last week the BC Center For Disease Control announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 on an October 22nd WestJet flight from Calgary to Comox (Flight #3315). Anyone on that plane is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms, especially those who sat in rows 6-12.

You can learn more about COVID-19 Public Exposures, as well as current case counts, by visiting the BCCDC’s website.

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Ross: