Canada’s top doctor has offered advice for its neighbors to the south regarding mask-wearing while having sex during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a new recommendation, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, advised that couples having sex should wear facial coverings.
Tam said that the most important step in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 through sexual activity is to “establish a trusting relationship with a sexual partner.”
Tips from Tam include:
- Monitoring yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and not having sex if you or your partner is experiencing symptoms;
- Limiting your use of alcohol and other substances so you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions;
- Skipping kissing and avoiding face-to-face contact or closeness by considering using a mask that covers the nose and mouth;
- Being aware if you or your partner may be at higher risk for more severe outcomes of COVID-19. This includes: people of any age with underlying medical conditions; people with compromised immune systems; and people living with obesity;
- Engage in safer sex practices, including using condoms, knowing your own STI status, and the status of your partner.
“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” she said. “However, sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19.
“Like other activities during COVID-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus.”
Tam added: “Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids.
“However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing,” she continued. “Remember as with all social interactions, try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible.”
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