(Shelley) Several groups across the Canadian Armed Forces and National Defence have answered the call to fabricate non-medical, reusable face masks as part of the effort to protect the forces against COVID-19.
Today, we’re joined by René Provencher from Defence’s 202 Workshop to speak more about this effort. Thanks for joining us sir.
Where will the masks will be going and who will be using them?
(RP) All DND personnel, civilian and military, will get these masks and they're gonna be distributed and they have been distributed to all the units, the headquarters, including the National Defence headquarters and into operations both here in Canada and outside the country.
(S) Has the Public Health Agency of Canada advised on masks and are you following their guidance?
(RP) So, yes, we have. Basically, the director of Health Services Operations, when he reviewed the design, he took into consideration the advice and specifications that were provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. So, it was all taken into consideration when the decision on which model and the materials and all that.
(S) Are there any recommendations you’re giving to Defence Team members on the use of these non-medical face masks?
(RP) Yes. I have three recommendations. The first one is that these are non-medical masks. They're not there to protect you and prevent you from getting COVID-19, but they are there to prevent the spread. So, basically to prevent you from spreading it to other people. Secondly, they are reusable. So, you can wash them and we recommend that you wash them in hot water along with the rest of your laundry in a load, in the machine. We recommend that you hang to dry. They will last longer if you do that, but if you have to use the dryer, we say that you should use low temperature settings to prevent damage to the mask. And third, the elastic does eventually wear and fray. And so, they can be replaced at your unit if you bring them back to them. That's the main recommendations on that.
(S) How do you feel about being part of this initiative?
(RP) So, I'm really glad that I can do my part and certainly very proud of how the team and our team came together and reacted quickly and across the Forces, all the units as well. I'm really proud of the work that was done by all the workshops and the fabrication.
(S) Thanks so much for your time.
(RP) It was my pleasure.