Please note that all of WDG Public Health’s COVID-19 resources (excluding images) are available for use and adapting for non-profit purposes, permission is not required. We ask that you include the statement “Adapted from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health” on any materials you use or adapt.
COVID-19 Call Centre
- Ext. 7006 (for health-related questions) Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Ext. 4020 (for non-health-related general questions about COVID-19 incl. business or workplace concerns, social distancing questions or non-emergency reporting questions) Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Please check these website frequently as they are updated with new information in regards to COVID-19.
- Government of Canada – Novel Coronavirus
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Public Health Agency of Canada, 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Public Health Ontario
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control – 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- CDC – Disinfection of Healthcare Equipment
- World Health Organization – Coronavirus
- Government of Canada Travel Health Notices
- Government of Canada – COVID 19
Evidence-based Information on Face Coverings
Dr. Nicola Mercer, our Medical Officer of Health, monitors the epidemiological evidence regarding virus transmission and face covering usage daily and reviews new studies as they are published. Based on her review, the evidence supports wearing a face covering as a reasonable and effective tool to help slow the spread of the virus. Wearing a face covering when in public spaces protects others from your respiratory droplets and may reduce your exposure to virus particles, and is a simple step everyone can take to do their part - along with physical distancing, hand-washing and not touching your face. Public Health experts consistently and strongly recommend wearing face coverings to help slow the spread of the virus and to protect members of the community, especially those who are unable to wear a face covering or other vulnerable individuals like the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.
Below you will find a collection of expert opinions and studies on face coverings. This list is for informational purposes only and is not representative of all articles and studies available on the subject, nor does this list cover all articles and studies that are reviewed by our epidemiologists and our Medical Officer of Health. Research and articles on face coverings and masks are available online for those who are interested to read further.
- Chiang CH, Chiang CH, Chiang CH. Letter to editor - Can universal masking help with our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic? Int J Surg. 2020 May 23;79:125-126.
- Clase CM, Fu EL, Joseph M et al. Cloth masks may prevent transmission of COVID-19: An evidence-based, risk-based approach. Ann Intern Med. 2020 May 22.
- Greenhalghn T, Schmid MB, Czypionka T, Bassler D, Gruer L. Face masks for the public during the COVID-19 crisis. BMJ. 2020;369.
- Javid B, Weekes MP, Matheson NJ. COVID-19: Should the public wear face masks? BMJ. 2020 Apr 9;369.
- Keshtkar-Jahromi M, Sulkowski M, Holakouie-Naieni K. Public masking: An urgent need to revise global policies to protect against COVID-19. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Jun;102(6):1160-1161.
- Klompas M, Morris CA, Shenoy ES. Universal masking in the COVID-19 era. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jun 3.
- Lim S, Yoon HI, Song KH, Kim ES, Kim HB. Face masks and containment of COVID-19: Experience from South Korea. J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jun 12: S0195-6701(20)30302-9.
- Zhiqiang Zhai. Facial mask: A necessity to beat COVID-19. Build Environ. 2020 May 15;175:106827. Epub 2020 Mar 23.
Evidence and Studies on Face Coverings (Updated on November 18, 2020)
- Adjodah D, Dinakar K, Fraiberger SP, Rutherford GW, Glidden DV, Gandhi M. Decrease in Hospitalizations for COVID-19 after Mask Mandates in 1083 U.S. Counties. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 Oct 23.
- Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group. Rapid Response Report: What is the effectiveness of wearing medical masks, including home-made masks, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community? Updated 2020 June.
- Arp NL, Nguyen TH, Graham Linck EJ et al. Use of face coverings in public during the COVID-19 pandemic: an observational study. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 Jun 12.
- Aydin O, Emon B, Saif MTA. Performance of fabrics for home-made masks against spread of respiratory infection through droplets: a quantitative mechanistic study. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 April 24.
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Considerations for wearing cloth face coverings. 2020 July 16. Updated: 2020 November 4.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2. Updated 2020 Nov 10.
- Chan JF, Yuan S, Zhang AJ et al. Surgical mask partition reduces the risk of non-contact transmission in a golden syrian hamster model for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Clin Infect Dis. 2020 May 30.
- Cheng VC, Wong SC, Chuang VW et al. The role of community-wide wearing of face mask for control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic due to SARS-CoV-2. J Infect. 2020;81(1):107-114.
- Chu DK, Akl EA, Duda S et al. Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2020; 395(10242):973-1987.
- Chughtai AA, Seale H, Macintyre CR. Effectiveness of cloth masks for protection against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020;26(10).
- Davies A, Thompson KA, Giri K, Kafatos G, Walker J, Bennett A. Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(4):413-8.
- Eikenberry SE, Mancuso M, Iboi E et al. To mask or not to mask: Modeling the potential for face mask use by the general public to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic. Infect Dis Model. 2020;5: 293-308.
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Using face masks in the community. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020.
- Fisman DN, Greer AL, Tuite AR. Bidirectional impact of imperfect mask use on reproduction number of COVID-19: A next generation matrix approach. Infect Dis Model. 2020;5:405–8.
- Furukawa NW, Brooks, JT, Sobel J. Evidence supporting transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 while presymptomatic or asymptomatic. EID Journal. 2020;26(7).
- Gandhi M, Havlir D. The Time for universal masking of the public for Coronavirus Disease 2019 is now. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020;7(4).
- Hong LX, Lin A, He ZB et al. Mask wearing in pre-symptomatic patients prevents SARS-CoV-2 transmission: An epidemiological analysis. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020;36:101803.
- Kai D, Goldstein G, Morgunov A et al. Universal masking is urgent in the COVID-19 pandemic: SEIR and agent based models, empirical validation, policy recommendations. Preprint. arXiv. Posted 2020 April 22.
- Kenyon C. Widespread use of face masks in public may slow the spread of SARS CoV-2: an ecological study. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 April 6.
- Leffler CT, Ing E, Lykins JD, McKeown CA, Grzybowski A. Country-wide coronavirus mortality and use of masks by the public. Submitted for publication 2020 April 22.
- Li T, Liu Y, Li M et al. Mask or no mask for COVID-19: A public health and market study. PLoS One. 2020 Aug 14;15(8).
- Li Y, Zhang R, Zhao J et al. Understanding transmission and intervention for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Aug 7;748:141560.
- Liang M, Gao L, Cheng C, et al. Efficacy of face mask in preventing respiratory virus transmission: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 May 28.
- Lyu W, Wehby GL. Community use of face masks and COVID-19: evidence from a natural experiment of State mandates in the US. Health Affairs. 2020 June 16.
- Ma QX, Shan H, Zhang HL, Li GM, Yang RM, Chen JM. Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2. J Med Virol. 2020 March.
- MacIntyre CR, Chughtai AA. A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators against coronaviruses and other respiratory transmissible viruses for the community, healthcare workers and sick patients. Int J Nurs Stud.2020;108(103629).
- Marchiori, M. COVID-19 and the social distancing paradox: dangers and solutions. Preprint. arXiv. Posted 2020 May 26.
- Mitze, T., Kosfeld, R., Rode, J., Walde, K. Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany: A synthetic control method approach. Bonn, Germany. IZA Institute of Labor Economics. 2020 June.
- Netz RR. Mechanisms of Airborne Infection via Evaporating and Sedimenting Droplets Produced by Speaking. J Phys Chem B. 2020 Jul 15.
- Ngonghala CN, Iboi EA and Gumel AB. Could masks curtail the post-lockdown resurgence of COVID-19 in the US? Math Biosci. 2020 Aug 18;329:108452.
- Public Health Ontario. COVID-19 – what we know so far about…wearing masks in public. 2020 Sept 14.
- Rodriguez-Palacios A, Cominelli F, Basson AR, Pizarro TT, Ilic S. Textile masks and surface covers-a spray simulation method and a “Universal Droplet Reduction Model” against respiratory pandemics Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 May 27;7:260.
- Scott N, Saul A, Spelman T et al. The Introduction of a Mandatory Mask Policy Was Associated with Significantly Reduced COVID-19 Cases in a Major Metropolitan City. Preprint. Lancet. Posted 2020 Nov 10.
- Shacham E, Scroggins S, Ellis M, Garza A. Association of County-Wide Mask Ordinances with Reductions in Daily CoVID-19 Incident Case Growth in a Midwestern Region Over 12 Weeks. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 Oct 30.
- Střížová Z, Bartůňková J, Smrž D. Can wearing face masks in public affect transmission route and viral load in COVID-19? Cent Eur J Public Health. 2020;28(2):161-162.
- Tao Z, Dong J and Culleton R. The use of facemasks may not lead to an increase in hand-face contact. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2020 Jun 28.
- Ueki H, Furusawa Y, Iwatsuki-Horimoto K, Imai M, Kabata H, Nishimura H, Kawaoka Y. Effectiveness of face masks in preventing airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. mSphere. 2020; 5(5): e00637-20.
- Wang J, Pan L, Tang S et al. Mask use during COVID-19: A risk adjusted strategy. Environ Pollut. 2020 Jun 25;266:115099.
- Worby CJ, Chang HH. Face mask use in the general population and optimal resource allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preprint. medRxiv. Posted 2020 Apr 7.
- Xu J, Hussain S, Lu G et al. Associations of Stay-at-Home Order and Face-Masking Recommendation with Trends in Daily New Cases and Deaths of Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 in the United States. Explor Res Hypothesis Med. 2020 Jul 8;1-10.