Health

Wear a mask while having sex with someone new, Canada's top doctor suggests

Skip kissing and consider wearing a mask when having sex with a new partner to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus, Canada's chief public health officer said on Wednesday, adding that going solo remains the lowest-risk sexual option in a pandemic.

But lowest-risk sexual activity during COVID-19 'involves yourself alone,' says Dr. Theresa Tam

Skip kissing, avoid face-to-face closeness, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose, and monitor yourself and your partner for symptoms ahead of any sexual activity with someone outside of your household or close-contacts bubble, Dr. Theresa Tam said Wednesday. (Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock)

Skip kissing and consider wearing a mask when having sex with a new partner to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus, Canada's chief public health officer said on Wednesday, adding that going solo remains the lowest-risk sexual option in a pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement there is little chance of catching COVID-19 from semen or vaginal fluid, but sexual activity with someone new does increase the risk of contracting the virus, particularly if there is close contact like kissing.

"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," she said.

Skip kissing, avoid face-to-face closeness, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose, and monitor yourself and your partner for symptoms ahead of any sexual activity, Tam said.

"The lowest-risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone," she added.

Sexual health is an important part of overall health, Tam said, and by taking precautions, "Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19." 

As of Wednesday afternoon, Canada had 129,705 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 114,842 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 9,171.

With files from CBC News

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