A leading epidemiologist who has never contracted Covid-19 has advised Australians to wear face masks every time they leave the house to avoid contracting the virus.
The warning from University of Western Australia epidemiologist Zoe Hyde comes as the same state reintroduced face mask rules in Perth’s public hospitals on Monday.
‘It’s a very simple principle. If you don’t inhale the virus, you don’t get sick,” Dr. Hyde shared WA Today.
She also said that currently available Covid-19 vaccinations are “outdated” and that the government must speed up the process of rolling out new, updated vaccines “as they will provide much better protection against infection.”
A recent surge in Covid-19 cases – the eighth wave of the virus in Australia – prompted the Western Australian government to reintroduce the wearing of surgical masks in high-risk clinical areas of public hospitals.
Dr. Zoe Hyde, who has never contracted Covid-19, has advised Australians to wear face masks every time they leave the house if they want to stay Covid-free
This includes departments where vulnerable patients are treated and departments for intensive care, hematology, oncology, organ transplantation and kidney dialysis.
“We must do what we can to ensure we keep each other safe – especially our most vulnerable,” WA Prime Minister Roger Cook said.
‘It is a simple measure that will reduce the spread of Covid-19 and help protect our most vulnerable.’
Mr Cook, who contracted Covid-19 earlier in November after a trip to Japan, said it was important to be careful.
“This is an expected part of the continued evolution of Covid-19 in the community, as people’s immunity wanes over time,” he said.
‘My advice remains the same: stay home if you are sick, wash or disinfect your hands regularly and cover your mouth when you cough.
‘Do not visit high-risk settings such as aged care facilities or hospitals if you have cold or flu symptoms.’
“It is an expected part of the continued evolution of Covid-19 in the community as people’s immunity wanes over time,” he said.
WA’s Chief Health Officer Dr Andy Robertson said Covid-19 cases have increased since early September.
“Given the increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations and sick healthcare providers, healthcare providers have agreed on consistent mask recommendations across our public health system.”
Surgical masks will also be recommended for staff and visitors in all clinical areas of public hospitals.
Dr. Robertson said private hospitals and aged care facilities should also consider tightening their rules on mask-wearing for staff and visitors.
A recent surge in Covid cases – Australia’s eighth wave of the virus – prompted the Western Australian government to reintroduce the wearing of surgical masks in high-risk clinical areas of public hospitals. The photo shows a woman wearing a face mask
“Covid-19 is still with us and my advice to the community remains the same: stay home if you are sick and do not visit high-risk settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals if you have cold or flu symptoms,” he said.
Dr. However, Hyde said governments have become complacent about the dangers of the virus.
‘There is the hope that Covid-19 will become something like a common cold, and that we will only have one Covid-19 season a year. “That’s clearly not what happened,” she said.
Former Australian deputy chief health officer Dr Nick Coatsworth claimed reinstating mask mandates would have little impact.
“That’s not going to make any difference at this point,” Dr. Coatsworth Friday at 2GB.
“If you say, ‘Look, wear masks in some situations but not in others, don’t social distance and go about your own business,’ then the masks just pollute the environment.”
“We have to be smarter about the way we deal with this.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
Although isolating is no longer mandatory, it is still important to remain socially distant from others, especially if they are at high risk or vulnerable.
People with complaints such as coughing, sore throat, fever, runny nose, muscle pain and back pain should stay at home and get enough rest.
Those with infections should wear masks around others and avoid high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care facilities and schools.
They should also stay hydrated, eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and make sure their room has good air circulation.
Experts have recommended people make a plan for the holidays and stock up on antivirals so they are prepared.
People can also ask their GP whether they are eligible for a booster.