COVID Mask Mandates Return to Hospitals in Five States

Dec 29, 2023, By Aliss Higham

  • “The surgical mask is a bad fit for risk reduction … the surgical mask is a symbol that protects from the perception of risk by offering nonprotection to the public while causing behaviours that project risk into the future.” – Shane Neilson, MD, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2016 May 17 [This article has been peer reviewed.]
  • “Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data … A cloth mask or face covering does very little to prevent the emission or inhalation of small particles.” – Dr. Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, and Dr.  Margaret Sietsema, PhD, April 1, 2020. Dr. Brosseau is a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases. Dr. Sietsema is also an expert on respiratory protection and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • “Compared with wearing no mask in the community studies only, wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu-like illness/COVID-like illness; and probably makes little or no difference in how many people have flu/COVID confirmed by a laboratory test.” – Cochrane Library (UK), 30 January 2023

Ignoring Science, Hospitals in Five States Return to COVID Mask Mandates – HH 

NEWSWEEK – Hospitals across the U.S. are reinstating COVID-19 mask mandates as the JN.1 variant becomes the dominant strain spreading throughout the country.

Hospitals in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Washington D.C. have all brought back divisive rules meaning masks are mandatory for selected people in medical settings. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control has recorded a 10.4 percent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across America in the week leading up to December 16.

There has been an increase of 3.4 percent in deaths related to coronavirus in the same period. Newsweek has contacted the CDC for comment via email.

Mask mandates have long been controversial since they were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, which reached the U.S. in early 2020. Medical professionals and the CDC have consistently advocated for mask wearing, including outside of doctor’s office or hospital. Currently, no state in the country has a mandatory mask policy for any indoor and outdoor setting.

This week, Mass General Brigham, the largest health system in Massachusetts, said that effective January 2, masks will be essential for healthcare staff directly engaging with patients in clinical-care settings until respiratory illnesses fall below a certain percentage. Patients and visitors are also strongly encouraged to wear masks, which will be provided by the hospital, and staff in hallways and common areas are exempt.

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Mass General Brigham said that its policy is determined by the percentage of patients with respiratory illness symptoms presenting at emergency departments or outpatient clinics.

The mandatory masking rule is activated when this percentage surpasses 2.85 percent for two consecutive weeks and will be lifted once the rate falls below the same percentage for a week.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, also said that it would require masks wearing for patients and staff on December 18. The hospital added that the policy would be in place for the foreseeable future …


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