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Hospitals in various states across the US are reinstating indoor masking mandates due to a surge in respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza. Healthcare facilities in at least six states — California, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin — have implemented such guidelines.
Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest health system, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are among those requiring masks for employees, caregivers, and individuals in patient care areas. Similarly, Cook County Health in Chicago has mandated masks for all individuals aged two and older in specific settings.
Dr. John Brownstein of Boston Children’s Hospital explained that healthcare environments, home to vulnerable patients and staff, must be “proactive” in reintroducing masks as cases climb. “Ultimately, health systems, hospitals, places that deliver care are going to see some of the most vulnerable and at-risk individuals,” he stated.
This resurgence in masking follows a recent Los Angeles County’s Public Health order, activated when COVID-19 hospital admissions reached a “medium” threshold.