Be Ready to Be Free From Masks: Major Hospitals in Massachusetts Set to Drop Mask Mandate!
Reportedly, major hospitals in Massachusetts are getting ready to eliminate the mask mandate. Reports that starting this Friday, a number of major hospitals in the Boston area will be lifting their mask mandates.
As the state’s COVID-19 public health emergency is scheduled to expire on May 11, several hospitals in Massachusetts are poised to eliminate mask mandates on their premises.
According to Boston.com, five major healthcare institutions in Massachusetts, including Boston Medical Center, Mass General Brigham, Tufts Medical Center, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and UMass Memorial Health, have recently announced that they will no longer mandate the use of medical masks.
Wearing Masks has been a requirement since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. May 12, 2023, marks the anticipated end of the mask mandates.
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Dr. Sharon Wright, who serves as the chief infection prevention officer at Beth Israel Lahey, shared her thoughts with Boston.com:
“Today, the number of COVID-19 cases has declined significantly, and the impact of infection has lessened due to improved access to testing, development of substantial immunity through vaccination, and availability of effective medical therapies. Given these changing circumstances, we are in a safer place to end universal masking at this time.”
The Tufts Medical Center announced one week ago that, for the first time in three years, it had no COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. The hospital described this accomplishment as a “big milestone.”
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, the city of Boston had recorded 219,548 positive cases as of the previous Tuesday, and the number of reported cases had decreased by 22% as of the last Monday. An average of 54 adults are admitted to one of Boston’s hospitals daily.
Hospital administrators made the decision to lift the mask rule due to the availability of vaccines, broad immunity, less severe virus variations, and access to efficient COVID-19 therapy, according to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Mass General Brigham website.
According to the website for Mass General Brigham, patients must wear a mask if they have a fever or other flu-like symptoms, a known COVID-19 infection and are in their isolation period, or if they have had a known exposure to COVID-19 within the last ten days.
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The Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity wrote an open letter to healthcare facilities last month:
“Without universal masking precautions in healthcare, vulnerable people face substantial risk of being exposed in waiting rooms or clinical settings against their will, violating their autonomy, and deterring many from seeking much-needed care.”
Patients will also be required to wear a mask if they have a known COVID-19 infection and are in their isolation period. The Mass General Brigham website states:
“In the future, there may be circumstances when our policies are updated to include targeted or broader masking. Our experts will continue to re-evaluate our policies, as they have throughout the pandemic, and adjust as needed. We will keep patients informed of any changes.”
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