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B.C. Dental Layoffs Possible Due to Mask Hoarding as Coronavirus Fears Grow

Coronavirus fears masks

Photo: HKGRist / Flickr

The B.C. Dental Hygienists Association is warning of possible layoffs and cancellations, if people continue to hoard masks due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.

Dentists, dental assistants and dental hygienists must wear a new disposable mask for every patient they see. But as the public continues to buy these masks out, employees are seeing a shortage.

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Stores across Metro Vancouver are selling out of the masks and hospitals are seeing them stolen. Meanwhile, others are selling them online for double the price.

And while these masks are essential for people working within the health sector, masks don’t actually help protect people against COVID-19.

In fact, wearing the masks may cause more harm, given how often people touch their face to readjust it.

“Dental hygienists cannot practice without a proper mask,” said Andrea Burton, executive director of the B.C. Dental Hygienists Association, to CBC. “[They’re] really worried they’re going to be looking at unemployment insurance, because they are not going to be able to work if they can’t get the [masks].”

The dental association said the shortage is a “growing concern,” but are currently looking for alternative options.

They ask people to stop buying out the masks, as they are ineffective against fighting the virus.

Meanwhile, other businesses are starting to see the effects of Coronavirus fears too, as tourism is seeing a slump and other entrepreneurs are facing a massive drop in business.

For other news in B.C., check out our News section.

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