U.S. Hospitals Reimpose Mask Mandates Due to Flu and COVID-19 Surge


In response to an increase in occurrences of COVID-19, seasonal flu, and other respiratory illnesses, hospitals in at least four US states have restored mask mandates.

Masks are now required for patients and providers in healthcare facilities in New York, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health, told WABC TV on Wednesday that mask mandates have been reinstated at all 11 of the city’s public hospitals, 30 health centers, and five long-term care institutions.

“We don’t want staffing shortages, do we?” “When we saw the omicron wave in 2022, the biggest issue was not only that people were getting sick, but that we had a lot of frontline health workers who were out with COVID-19,” Vasan told WABC.

According to the most recent weekly data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 29,000 hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the United States from December 17 to 23, an increase of more than 16% over the previous week. During the same time period, the CDC reported 14,700 flu hospitalizations.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, mask mandates sparked outrage among people who defied medical advice and believed masks did little to slow the spread of the disease.

President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses was overturned by a conservative-dominated Supreme Court, and his public transportation mask rule was overturned by a judge chosen by his Republican predecessor.

U.S. Hospitals Reimpose Mask Mandates Due to Flu and COVID-19 Surge


There was also strong animosity among individuals who wore masks and believed their health was jeopardized by those who did not.

According to CDC data, more than 1.1 million Americans have died from COVID-19, a higher rate than in most other developed countries.

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago announced on Tuesday that “patients, visitors, and staff will be required to wear hospital-approved masks in some areas of the campus.” Clinical waiting areas and patient registration are among them.”

Cook County Health, which includes Chicago, and Endeavor Health in the Chicago suburbs began enforcing masks again last month, after the Illinois Department of Public Health requested that hospitals increase mitigation efforts in many areas, including facility-wide masking.

According to a statement, Berkshire Health Systems in Massachusetts initiated obligatory masking on Wednesday.

According to a government statement given to the City News Service, the Los Angeles government resumed masking at all licensed healthcare facilities on Saturday. A request for a response from the county’s health department was not immediately returned.

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