Feds readying to recommend contact tracing app

Masks problematic for asthmatic autistic hearing-impaired people

THE CANADIAN PRESS Graham Hughes

On May 22 during his daily address, Justin Trudeau revealed a three-step plan on how Canada can come back from COVID-19.

Stanwick fielded several questions about non-medical masks, including one from a caller in Victoria who said she feels like she is smothering in her own carbon dioxide when wearing a mask, and wondered why businesses can mandate that customers wear masks.

There are also other federal employees that can make 3,600 calls every day of the week.

Lastly, Trudeau mentioned that data collected across jurisdictions must be shared across provinces and territories to help follow the spread of the virus, adapt the response to the spread, and save lives.

"These federal resources are available to assist provinces and territories with any surges, or backlogs or challenges they have in contact-tracing".

"We say if they can not wear a mask, they must ensure they're maintaining physical distancing and practising good hand hygiene".

Also Thursday, Trudeau said the federal government is sending $75 million to organizations that help Indigenous people living in urban areas and off reserves through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nanaimo's Dr. David Forrest, who specializes in infectious diseases and critical care, said countries where public mask usage has been mandated have been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Tools to aide in this have already been implemented in other countries, including South Korea and Australia.

Earlier this month federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners issued a statement calling for governments to ensure that any applications being developed or recommended respect Canadian privacy laws.

"I think we all need to adjust to what works in our circumstances and keep safety at the forefront of what we're doing", he said.

"We aren't out of the woods yet", Trudeau said.

"If done properly, tracing applications can achieve both privacy and public health goals at the same time. Everything hinges on design, and appropriate design depends on respect for certain key privacy principles", said Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien in a statement.

The federal government now has a testing capacity of 60,000 tests a day, but Trudeau said that capacity has not been used up at this point since many provinces are able to do adequate levels of testing within their own resource pools. There are 81,324 total cases with 6,152 reported deaths.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, are making a "recommendation" that Canadians wear a non-medical mask when they can not maintain a two-metre physical distance.

During testimony at the House of Commons operations' committee on Friday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said they are continuing to talk with the provinces about how "integral" it is to increase the number of tests being conducted.

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