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Universal Masking In Healthcare Settings Is No Longer Advised

Oct, 2022

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Except in cases when the institutions are located in regions with significant COVID-19 transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer advise universal masking in healthcare settings.

Except in cases when the institutions are located in regions with significant COVID-19 transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer advise universal masking in healthcare settings.

The government discreetly released the revisions as part of a late-Friday afternoon update to its infection control advice for healthcare professionals. It is a significant change from the agency's earlier advice for universal masking.

Even though masking is not always necessary, healthcare professionals should wear one if they treat immunocompromised patients or work in an area of the hospital where COVID-19 is on the rise.

Everyone in a hospital environment is advised to wear masks while they are in parts of the institution where they could come into proximity with patients when infection levels are high.

When in "well-defined locations" that are closed off to patients, such as staff conference rooms, providers may decide not to wear masks.

The changes, in the opinion of public health professionals, will lead to fewer people wearing masks in hospitals and nursing homes, putting patients and employees in danger.

The new recommendations, according to Megan Ranney, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, could expose sick people who haven't yet been tested for COVID-19 in areas with high transmission, right next to vulnerable pregnant women, the elderly, chemotherapy patients, and people with pulmonary disorders.

This subtle "have your cake and eat it too" strategy hasn't been successful once during the epidemic. There is a cry of "no more masks!" Jerome Adams, the surgeon general under the Trump administration, tweeted.

Updates were made, according to the CDC's updated advice, "to reflect the high levels of infection- and vaccine-induced immunity as well as the availability of effective treatments and preventative strategies."

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