BVI News

Local doctor concerned about constant reuse of disposable masks

Dr Chrisel Bovell-Chichester of the BVI Health Services Authority.

Consultant internist at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital Dr Chrisel Bovell-Chichester has issued a warning to residents who opt to reuse disposable masks for weeks on end.

Addressing the issue during an interview with BVI News recently, Dr Chichester said germs become easily transmitted when disposable masks are continuously reused.

“I see people wearing masks but I think they don’t understand the role of it because I see how it is worn. I see masks, especially reusable ones, and it is clear that those persons [wearing them] have used it consistently, probably for weeks on end. They are very dirty, and they are taking it off and putting it on the dashboards of their cars and those things. You are not being cognizant of what you are doing and the role of the mask,” she said, adding that the public must understand that their role in the continued fight against COVID-19 cannot be understated.

“I know we have the politicians, we have the physicians, we have all the persons in the health care field making all of these plans but without the support of the public doing their part, this falls flat,” Dr Chichester stated.

Wearing a mask isn’t all

While commending the public for complying with the government’s mandatory orders to wear masks, she said, “just wearing a mask isn’t all”.

“You have to not only understand how you use it but how you care for it. If it is a disposable one, when you take it off, you dispose of it and wash your hands.”

“You don’t take it off and crush it up in your hands with all of the secretions that would have gone from you breathing on it; then you pass it on to your child, your mom, or someone else. So I think the mask is certainly of great concern to me in terms of how persons are using it,” the physician explained.

She also said the territory must also move away from the notion that protective face masks are “something fashionable”.


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  1. tell says:

    A certain supermarket is selling a$20 pack of masks masks at $79.99, A certain hardware store sells the masks at $1.99 each even and presumably the pack is for just under $100 (50 masks in a pack) with this sort of price gouging on essentials, it is hard to afford new masks in this economy.

    Like 36
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    • Hmmmmmm says:

      In the United States they selling a pack of 50 for $45

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      • bvi says:

        we are in the bvi. whats you point.
        medical expense is very very high in the USA but not in the bvi.

        whats your point.

        • @bvi says:

          You have no medical in the BVI. Wouldn’t want those witch doctors to remove a splinter.

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          • @hmmm says:

            Literally in the US, you drown in medical bills just for your life…15$ for an advil? lol

        • gwen says:

          In the USA a bottle of Alcohol was 99cents now its $5.00.

        • Caribbean Girl says:

          They point is that businesses are taking advantage of the situation and these items should have a price control. There is no money if people don’t work. How can they afford masks, that are compulsory? And they are disposable, meaning that they will not last for ever. GREED.

  2. No worries says:

    Masks are not necessary. The government said there is no Covid in the Territory. Anyway buy a mask for $2 or a beer. Which do you think the island mon buying.

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    • @ No worries says:

      What part of the border reopening you people don’t understand. Next thing you want to be complaining about being locked down if a second wave occur.

  3. Lmao says:

    You worried about reusing masks. The locals reuse the same clothes day after day. Just spray cologne and good to go. What difference between a mask and da clothes

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  4. Germs says:

    Doc I know a man who wore a mask for 2 weeks straight and let me tell you the white parts turned brown from the dirt. And you can’t tell him nothing cause he feel he know everything. The ignorance,nastiness and laziness of some people amaze me

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    • 2020 says:

      If you were in his shoes would you have blog the above?

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      • To 2020 says:

        I am not lazy and nasty. And he is not poor(he definitely can afford to buy a reusable mask), he is the type of person who is not taking the virus seriously and always complaining that wearing a mask is foolishness….and I’m guessing you’re just as nasty as him.

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    • Exactly says:

      I observed several people wearing very dirty masks and some are not even wearing them properly, I tried to give a gentleman a tip on how to clean and wear the mask and he got highly offended. People are taking the virus as a joke.

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  5. local doctor says:

    The local doctor should be worried about peoples unhealthy diets, the obesity, the diabetes, the cancer that can all be prevented by healthy behaviour.

    No we only talk about Covid these days.

    Health is more than just this virus.

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    • Nurse says:

      She has been doing that all along. Do your research. Its just that COVID is on the scene now.

      • On the scene says:

        Well, it might be on the scene now. But caring for your health and boosting your immune system is still better than wearing these silly masks while being 50lbs over weight and eating fried chicken all day.

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  6. N95 says:

    Please visit the 3M website where you can read that the N95 mask is protective for up to 8 months in a dust free environment. Of course if you grind toxic bottom paint off a boat bottom then it is clogged/done in 8 hrs.

  7. reality says:

    Yes the doctoris correct but the reason we are forced to wear a mask or no service is due to us giving our germs to other people not keeping our own.

    This is a mute point now as COVID19 free…. now ask the big question was this doctor the one who sent the woman home twice before she died?

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    • To reality says:

      Not sure if she’s the one who sent the woman home, but I know she’s the one whose husband always ask her if she washed her hands when she reach home LMAOOOOO

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    • @ reality says:

      How is it a moot point?

      A local just entered the territory bypassing immigration and came from the Dominican Republic with two (2) others.

      The border is reopening next week.

      You want to be ignorant and be up and down without a mask because the BVI has no active cases FOR THOSE WHO WERE TESTED?????

      Remember the BVI Beacon employee who had ALL THE SYMPTOMS but tested negative?????

      What about those who are afraid to get tested and walking around with symptoms and some without.

      There are false negatives and false positive. DON’T MESS UP OUR FREEDOM BY BEING RECKLESS WITH YOUR LIVES!!!!

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  8. An Enigma versus a Paradox says:

    Good doctor, this is not directed at you, but statements of facts relative to diseases that are continuously keeping the territory handicapped, ill and non-progressive.

    There are folk who find themselves in positions above others. They are not particularly smart, intelligent nor even effective or outstanding at their particular vocation.

    They ascend to their position, HOD etc., not by earning it and through demonstrated intellect, smarts and vocation application and subsequent production by gained knowledge and experience.

    Instead, they were placed where they were placed out of curry favor, preferential choice, nepotism and others, and not because they were the best and qualified mind to execute the job and expand the institution.

    The net result of this kind of practice is institutional stagnation, and often internal and personal violation of individual human, professional and human rights, and a bloated department with incompetent, non-productive employees, and non-growth for decades upon decades.

    These are some of the viruses that have been infecting and sickening our BVI institutions for decades. There is current antidote or mask that will alleviate the stagnation currently in existence in so many of our public institutions.

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  9. Caribbean Girl says:

    They point is that businesses are taking advantage of the situation and these items should have a price control. There is no money if people don’t work. How can they afford masks, that are compulsory? And they are disposable, meaning that they will not last for ever. GREED.

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