Removing masks in healthcare is dangerous and unethical.
Join us in sending the message to governors, local officials, and healthcare organizations. And join the Valentine Power #KeepMasksInHealthcare awareness campaign.
Lifting mask guidelines for healthcare is dangerous, unethical and based on flawed data. A mask requirement in healthcare settings is the bare minimum accessibility standard and the most essential service at which to prevent spread of infection. Please join us in sending this message to your governor using our Action Network form, or sending your own letter, and please feel free to use the letter we offer for this and other advocacy, such as with local elected officials and healthcare organizations. And if you’re on social media, boost the issue, and our letter campaign form, using the hashtags: #KeepMasksinHealthcare, and adding your specific state such as #KeepMasksinHealthcareCA, #KeepMasksinHealthcareNY, #KeepMasksInHealthcareMA & #KeepMasksInHealthcarePA (See details below)
From: The People’s CDC
RE: Masks in Healthcare
As healthcare workers, patients, parents, and caregivers, we at the People’s CDC urge public health officials and healthcare organizations, including hospitals, clinics, physician and dentist offices, nursing homes, and home health care services to require masking in all healthcare settings, and to provide masks (ideally N95 respirators) for everyone in those settings. The revised CDC guidance, which permits patients and staff in healthcare to stop masking when “levels of Community Transmission” are not “high,” is dangerous, unethical and based on flawed data.
REMOVING MASKS IN HEALTHCARE IS DANGEROUS.
Clinics and hospitals are sites for COVID patient care, so even if transmission rates are low, they will remain among the most likely locations to encounter people infected with COVID, and also people who are vulnerable to severe disease or death from COVID. Contagion in healthcare settings is already a problem even in well-equipped US academic medical centers. Removing masks in healthcare puts both patients and healthcare workers at risk, which could place even more strain on the healthcare system amidst severe staffing shortages.
REMOVING MASKS IN HEALTHCARE IS UNETHICAL.
Failing to require masks in healthcare settings violates medical ethical principles. Patients come to clinics and hospitals to improve their health. Healthcare providers have an ethical responsibility to DO NO HARM and ensure that they do not expose patients to COVID. Children and babies who cannot or may not wear masks and people in clinical situations that do not permit mask-wearing (such as post operative units) need others to protect them by wearing masks. Vaccines alone are insufficient to prevent COVID-19 spread. Although vaccines lower the risk of hospitalization and death, vaccinated people can die from COVID-19, or develop Long COVID, which may affect as many as one in five people after COVID infection.
CDC POLICY TO REMOVE MASKS IN HEALTHCARE IS BASED ON FLAWED DATA.
The CDC’s current policy relies on the Community Transmission map, which grossly underestimates COVID-19 infection rates. Back in September 2021 the CDC estimated that only 1 in 4 COVID cases were reported. And in New York, for example, a spring 2022 study suggested that infections were underestimated by a factor of 30. This is because far fewer people are testing for COVID now that much required routine testing has ended, federal funding for COVID testing has diminished, and most home tests are not reported. Further, most low-wage workers don’t have paid sick time, and therefore many are incentivized or compelled to go to work with COVID, or to avoid testing.
In conclusion, we urge public health officials and healthcare providers to keep our communities safer from COVID-19, by requiring and providing high-quality masks for all. The healthcare system should be a place of healing, where the risk of acquiring infections is minimized. We urge you, as stewards of public health, to act in the best interests of the most vulnerable among us.
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❤️ #KeepMasksinHealthcare Valentine Power
Join Senior and Disability Action and Mandate Masks NY for the Keep Masks In Healthcare awareness campaign on social media (valentine power hour: Feb. 14th, Noon Eastern / 9am Pacific time) using hashtags: #KeepMasksinHealthcare, #KeepMasksinHealthcareCA, and also add your own state — such as #KeepMasksinHealthcareNY #KeepMasksInHealthcareMA & #KeepMasksInHealthcarePA
Opposition to New York State’s decision to let healthcare mask mandate expire
Mandate Masks NY Action Toolkit: Bit.ly/KeepMasksInHealthCareNYAction
Join in using the action network form letter campaign for residents of New York:
Mandate Masks NY press release condemning NY State’s decision: