Hospitals in 5 States Begin Re-Imposing COVID-19 Mask Mandates

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Hospitals in 5 States Begin Re-Imposing COVID-19 Mask Mandates

More hospitals across the United States have begun reinstating COVID-19 mask mandates after reports of the JN.1 variant “spreading” across the country.

States imposing mask mandates include:

California

Illinois

Massachusetts

New York

Washington D.C.

Watch

Newsweek reported:

Hospitals 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 outside doctor’s offices or hospitals. No state in the country has a mandatory mask policy for any indoor and outdoor setting.

This week, Mass General Brigham, the most extensive 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.

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.

The hospital said on its website: “We check a number of different data points, including rates of influenza-like illness, staff absenteeism, and emergency room visits and hospitalizations caused by respiratory viruses. We will lift the mask requirement when these data points remain consistently lower.”

Staff at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington D.C. are currently required to wear a mask while at work, according to political website The Hill.

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics are also asking that people wear masks in its medical buildings, including University Hospital, American Family Children’s Hospital and East Madison Hospital.

In New York, NYC Health + Hospitals has said there would now be a mask policy in place at all of its facilities, adding on its website that “COVID-19 and other respiratory infections continue to pose a threat to all New Yorkers.”

Hospitals in California are also asking patients, workers and visitors to mask up.

READ: Rand Paul Rages at School Mask Mandates: ‘It’s a Crime against Children!’

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