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22nd - Sep

Sask. physicians launch advertising campaign to urge continued mask use during pandemic

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) has unfurled banners across two major Saskatoon streets and bought billboard ad space to remind the public of the benefits of wearing a mask this fall when physical distancing is not possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The SMA-branded banners, which span Second Avenue downtown and Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon, are part of a larger SMA campaign now underway that aims to promote mask use. Messages on billboards – in Regina and in Saskatoon -- and posters for physicians’ offices across the province are also part of the campaign. The SMA will be following up in a few weeks with a series of online videos featuring physicians and others affirming their personal reasons for using a mask during the pandemic.

“Wearing a mask is another tool each of us can use to keep one another safe,” said SMA president Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, a Regina family physician.

The SMA, which represents Saskatchewan’s physicians, urges mask use along with other measures people have taken to keep COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan relatively low, such as hand-washing, maintaining physical distancing, limiting contact with others, and avoiding crowds. The approaching flu season, with the possibility of a so-called “twindemic,” is especially concerning for physicians.

“Vulnerable populations are at risk from the flu during a normal flu season,” Dr. Konstantynowicz notes. “We do not know how COVID-19 will affect the annual flu season.”

The SMA campaign emphasizes the importance of masks to the health of seniors, businesses, the economy, lives, families and colleagues at work. The campaign also notes that masks are another tool to having safe schools. “In these early days of the school year every precaution should be taken to keep our children, teachers and school staff safe,” Dr.  Konstantynowicz said. “Time will tell whether we can loosen restrictions and return to a more normal school year, with gatherings and extra-curricular activities, but for now we need to be vigilant.”

The SMA is also encouraging the use of recyclable masks so as to reduce the impact on the environment.  To see the banner, posters and masks the SMA has produced for this campaign, please click here.

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