Fact Checks

Holy communion has not been banned in Toronto
Articles shared hundreds of times on Facebook in multiple countries claim that holy communion has been banned in Toronto as part of the Canadian city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. These claims are false, according to Toronto Public Health, Ontario’s Health Ministry and the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Archdioceses of Toronto.

Experts say corpses infected with COVID-19 do not get more infectious over time
A post shared more than a thousand times on Facebook claims that a corpse of a COVID-19 positive person is 100 times more “toxic” 72 hours after death -- and that because undertakers are not burying them within this prescribed period, funerals have become a hotspot for COVID-19 infection. The claim is false; according to experts, corpses do not get more infectious over time and the rise in infections after funerals is a result of mourners infecting one another.

Hoax posts offer hazard pay to US pandemic workers
Facebook posts shared thousands of times claim that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering hazard pay compensation to individuals who worked during the novel coronavirus pandemic. But the posts lead to a hoax website with a picture of an ape, and economic relief payments are overseen by the US Treasury Department, not FEMA, and are not tied to hazardous work.

Wearing a face mask does not put you at risk of developing pleurisy, health experts say
Multiple posts shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter claim that a woman contracted pleurisy, a lung inflammation condition, after wearing a face mask for an extended period of time. According to the posts, the unidentified woman caught the disease because she was breathing in carbon dioxide and her own bacteria. The claims are false; pulmonologists say wearing a face mask does not put you at risk of developing pleurisy, nor does it deprive users of adequate oxygen or cause a surge in carbon dioxide levels.