After long discouraging the use of face masks, Legault said Tuesday that they could help wearers avoid spreading the virus.\nIn the United States, the CDC has asked Americans to wear non-medical masks in dense areas.\nVisit MTLBlog for more headlines.\nAt his daily press conference Tuesday, Premier François Legault admitted that "yes, it could help to add a mask for the citizens to avoid spreading the virus." He stopped short of encouraging the practice. But the statement comes after public health officials, including Dr. Horacio Arruda, had long discouraged mask-wearing by the general population, arguing that they offer a false sense of security and should be reserved for health care professionals.\nLegault made sure to underline that last point, stressing that it's important to maintain a stock of equipment for hospital workers.\nHe made further clear that wearing a mask serves "not to protect oneself but to protect others" from potential exposure and should supplement, not replace other public health guidelines.\nIn the United States, public health officials have begun asking people to wear masks in public.\nOn its website, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) "recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."\nSimilar instructions don't exist in Quebec, Legault says, in part because it's "not part of the culture."\nIn Japan, for example, "when someone has the flu or a cold, out of respect for others, they wear a mask. It's part of their culture.\n"But for us, it could seem strange."\nView this post on Instagram Je veux remercier les membres des médias québécois pour le travail exceptionnel qu'ils font jour après jour. On a besoin de vous pour éteindre les rumeurs et les fausses nouvelles qui circulent sur le virus. Les médias sont plus que jamais un service essentiel. Ensemble, on propage l'info de nos médias québécois, pas les rumeurs ! #onseprotege A post shared by François Legault (@francoislegault.pm) on Mar 20, 2020 at 4:08pm PDT\nLegault's comments come one day after Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, also said that homemade masks could help in the fight against the virus.\n"Wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you," she said in her daily briefing.\n"In particular, it can lower risks of respiratory droplets coming into contact with others or landing on surfaces."\nThe United States Surgeon General even made a video to show how to make a homemade mask.\nJe suis tellement fier de la réponse de nos vedettes québécoises depuis hier. Ensemble, on propage l’info, pas le virus! Voici un message important de notre meilleur influenceur, le Dr Horacio Arruda. À partager sur tous les réseaux sociaux. pic.twitter.com/AJ4Mn3tROS— François Legault (@francoislegault) March 18, 2020\nAuthorities on both sides of the border, however, say that surgical and N95 masks should always be kept for professionals.\nStay tuned for more news.