Canada’s top doctor: ‘consider using a mask’ during sexual activity

By | September 2, 2020

TORONTO — Canada’s top doctor dispensed some important sexual education today for those attempting to date during a pandemic: consider wearing a mask during sex.

Dr. Theresa Tam put out a statement Wednesday that covered how best to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 while engaging in sexual intercourse.

“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” she said in the statement. “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.”

While obviously the sexual activity with the lowest risk “involves yourself alone,” there are ways to make sex with others safer during the pandemic. One important first step is to trust that your partner is following COVID-19 precautions themselves and will be honest with you if they experience symptoms.

Tam also suggests Canadians limit their use of alcohol or substances that might make a couple make unsafe decisions around sex, and that they make sure they are aware of whether their partner is at a high risk of COVID-19.

“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids,” she said. “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 recommends couples skip kissing and avoid “face-to-face contact or closeness” during sex, or “consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth.”

“By taking these precautions and staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19.”

In the statement, Tam also provided an update on COVID-19 numbers in Canada, saying that 88.5 per cent of the 129,425 people to contract the virus in Canada so far have recovered. Over the past seven days, an average of more than 490 new cases across the country have been reported daily. 

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