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HomeGeneralU.S. Hospitals Reinstate COVID-19 Mask Mandates

U.S. Hospitals Reinstate COVID-19 Mask Mandates

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A Doctor Wearing a Mask
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Hospitals in areas like California and New York have reinstated divisive rules. This time, masks are now mandatory for selected people in medical settings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 10.4 percent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across America. All in the week leading up to December 16. 

This has led to an increase of 3.4 percent in deaths related to coronavirus in the same period. Forcing people to wear masks is not a popular move. Such mandates are controversial since they were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical professionals and the CDC have consistently urged citizens to wear masks outside doctor’s offices or hospitals. No state in the country has a mandatory mask policy for any indoor and outdoor setting.

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Mass General Brigham is the most extensive health system in Massachusetts. It made masks a must-have for healthcare staff directly engaging with patients in clinical-care settings from January 2. This will hold until respiratory illnesses fall below a certain percentage. 

The hospital will provide the masks, but staff in hallways and common areas are exempt. Mass General Brigham says the percentage of patients with respiratory illness symptoms determines its policy.

The mandatory masking rule comes into play when this percentage surpasses 2.85 percent for two consecutive weeks. And it will be rescinded when the rate falls below the same percentage for a week.

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The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, also made patients and staff wear masks from December 18. The policy will be in place for the foreseeable future.

In New York, NYC Health and Hospitals wrote on its website, “COVID-19 and other respiratory infections continue to pose a threat to all New Yorkers.” Unsurprisingly, they have also started implementing masks to deal with this.

California hospitals also want patients, workers, and visitors to use masks. Officials in Yolo County admit that, due to “a rise in respiratory virus activity in the community,” individuals will need masks “in crowded, indoor spaces.” 

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Aimee Sisson, Yolo County public health officer, said: “Our wastewater monitoring program is currently detecting high COVID-19 and RSV levels. I recommend that everybody in the community protect themselves from infection, including wearing a high-quality mask when indoors around others.”

Other places where masks are being made mandatory include San Francisco and Wisconsin. In these areas, masks must be worn by all workers in medical fields and prisons in hospital settings.

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