Resurgence of Masks: COVID-19 Surges Lead to Reinstitution of US Mandates

COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates Continue to Rise for the Fifth Consecutive Week, Prompting Reevaluation of Mask Mandates by Businesses Ahead of the Fall and Winter Period.

Amid increasing case numbers within their respective regions, a significant hospital system in San Francisco, along with two in New York, has decided to reintroduce mask mandates for both their staff and patients. Similarly, Morris Brown College in Atlanta is taking similar steps. Additionally, Lionsgate Film Studios in Hollywood now mandates masks for almost half of its Santa Monica workforce.

Resurgence of Masks: COVID-19 Surges Lead to Reinstitution of US Mandates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently observing three novel variants, one of which is the highly mutated BA 2.86 variant, affectionately referred to as Pirola.

Several public health experts recommend individuals with underlying chronic conditions that can weaken the immune system, such as HIV, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, along with senior citizens, to keep a close watch on the COVID-19 case numbers within their local communities. They are also advised to take additional precautions, including wearing masks.

“Octogenarians, individuals in their eighties, represent the demographic at the highest risk for experiencing complications post COVID-19 infection,” stated Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist associated with the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in an interview with CNN.

If you are a caregiver for someone who is at a higher risk of experiencing complications after infection, I believe you should also contemplate wearing a mask in public settings,” Reiner suggested.

When it comes to the type of mask, experts are in agreement that respirator masks are the preferred choice.

Both the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend N95 and P100 respirator masks as the most effective options against small particles, making them particularly suitable for safeguarding against hazardous air pollutants, like those generated by wildfire smoke.

N95 respirator masks have demonstrated a filtration efficiency of 95% for particles measuring 0.1-0.3 microns in size. In comparison, the typical size of an SARS-CoV-2 particle falls between 0.07 and 0.09 microns, which is notably smaller than particulate matter found in air pollutants.

Tags: Coronavirus, Healthcare, News, CDC, FDA, Wildfire

Original Author: Gabrielle M. Etzel

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