Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief health public officer, says people should consider wearing face masks and skip kissing during sex to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement on Wednesday, the country’s lead medical doctor said sex in a pandemic like COVID-19 “can be complicated,” hence the need to take preventive measures.
Tam urged people to first consider “yourself alone” as the best low risk solution to sexual activity during the coronavirus pandemic.
She added that with little or no evidence suggesting the virus can be transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, those engaging in sex outside their home should avoid “face-to-face contact or closeness” or “consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth.”
“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health. 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,” she said.
“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.”
Tam also advised partners to abstain from sex if either person exhibits symptoms of the virus and should observe low intake of alcohol and other substances to be able to make “safe decisions.”
She stressed the need to observe “safer sex practices, including using condoms, knowing your own STI status and the status of your partner.”
Canada has so far recorded over 130,242 confirmed cases of the virus with 9,138 deaths, according to worldometers.
In June, experts at Harvard University had similarly urged couples to wear face masks during sex to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
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