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FACTizenship Newsletter | Volume #1

Welcome to our first newsletter ! 

We’re pleased to introduce you to the FACTizenship newsletter, the COVID-19 Facts portal's new weekly offering . This newsletter is meant to be both informative and educational. Every week, you’ll find useful content and tools to support you in the fight against misinformation and disinformation.

This week we’re sharing new fact-checks that were published on the portal recently, as well as an update on one of our fact-checks.  

New fact-checks : The spread of COVID-19 through a building’s ventilation system; The unprecedented scale of disinformation since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis; two fact-checks about face masks; the use of UV lights against COVID-19; debunking Bill Gates’ role in the pandemic; a Russian cyber-attack against Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine research; and COVID-19 risks for pregnant women. 

Updated fact-checks : New information about the spread of COVID-19 through a building’s ventilation system

Tools and Resources : A Case Study and a Quiz to test your knowledge on COVID-19.

Not enough data to know whether the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread through a building’s ventilation system
A team of researchers based out of the University of Alberta claim the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread through building ventilation systems. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen disinformation on an unprecedented scale
The Journal de Québec states that disinformation is "of an unprecedented scale since the beginning of the health crisis" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s inaccurate to say that wearing a face mask poses serious health risks
Russell Blaylock, a retired doctor claims that wearing face masks creates serious health risks for healthy people. This claim has no factual basis.

The World Health Organization changed its stance on masks
WebMD reported on June 6th 2020 that the World Health Organization (WHO) changed its stance on wearing face masks.

UV light could be used as a disinfectant against COVID-19 but only in specific contexts and not on human skin
Health Europa published an article on 2 June 2020 suggesting that Ultraviolet light (UV light) could kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

Is Bill Gates using microchip implants to fight the coronavirus?
In March 2020, the website Biohackinfo claimed that Bill Gates would use microchip implants to fight the coronavirus. Biohackinfo’s claim is inaccurate.

Canada vaccine research on COVID-19 targeted by a cyber-attack from Russia
On July 16, 2020, the CBC news service announced that scientific research on COVID-19 in Canada had been targeted by a cyber-attack.

Caution is advised for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic
The headline of an article published on June 18, 2020, in the American media ABC News states that pregnant women are not more susceptible to COVID-19.

How we fact-checked this claim: "Pandemics are cyclical and occur every 100 years"
It takes about one week to produce a fact-checked article when we’re not dealing with an urgent topic. This is because we have a strict workflow with several stop gaps, to ensure a high-quality and accurate text in French and in English. 

Test your knowledge of COVID-19!
Misinformation spreads even faster than COVID-19 and can cause significant damage. Knowing the facts is therefore essential to prepare ourselves and protect ourselves and others against this new disease. We invite you to test your knowledge and help us fight misinformation by sharing this quiz with your family, friends and colleagues.  

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