Data was collected in three stages using a questionnaire that asked participants to share details about their living arrangements and self-report their practices around mask-wearing and physical distancing activities at home. When asked to clarify what kinds of masks were included in the research, one of the study’s authors and a professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales, Raina MacIntyre, told CTVNews.ca in an email that participants wore surgical masks.This was supported by another key finding in the study that showed the risk of close-contact transmission increased by four times if the infected person was experiencing diarrhea as a symptom. Carr also noted a critical shortage of personal protective equipment for front line health-care workers in Canada as another reason why an average family might not be able to access medical-grade face masks to protect against the virus.But even with those concerns, Carr believes the study does well to serve as a reminder and enhances what the public is already being told about proper hygiene, disinfecting in the home, the use of masks and physical distancing. “It’s good to keep researching non-pharmaceutical options [for COVID-19], but we should keep a focus on hygiene, cleaning, and reducing our risk outside the home with masks and distancing,” she added.
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