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As many provinces across Canada begin to loosen public health restrictions and gradually open their economies, federal public health officials are now officially recommending that people wear non-medical masks to help protect others from the novel coronavirus in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible.

After initially advising against wearing non-medical masks, federal health officials said in April that people who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — could wear non-medical masks when in public as “an additional measure” to avoid spreading droplets — but officials didn’t present it as an official recommendation.

1:41Coronavirus outbreak: How to make a cloth face mask based on CDC guidelines

Coronavirus outbreak: How to make a cloth face mask based on CDC guidelines

Updated recommendations on the use of non-medical masks amid the ongoing pandemic will be posted on the government’s website later on Wednesday, Canada’s chief medical officer of health said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Dr. Theresa Tam has said some evidence suggests that COVID-19 can be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms.

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