The CDC Just Quietly Put an End to Universal Masking Guidelines Inside Medical Care Facilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly rescinded its decree that staff and patients in hospitals, clinics, and medical care facilities should wear masks at all times.
Their “Infection Prevention and Control” recommendations page was updated to say that they no longer recommend universal masking in healthcare settings, unless the local area is in the arbitrary “high transmission” zone.
The agency claimed on their website that “Updates were made to reflect the high levels of vaccine-and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools.”
“Healthcare facilities may choose to offer well-fitting facemasks as a source control option for visitors but should allow the use of a mask or respirator with higher-level protection that is not visibly soiled by people who chose that option based on their individual preference,” the CDC says in its update.
The Experts insist that people should wear masks in healthcare facilities when the Covid risk is “high.”
“When SARS-CoV-2 Community Transmission levels are high, source control is recommended for everyone in a healthcare setting when they are in areas of the healthcare facility where they could encounter patients”:
- HCP could choose not to wear source control when they are in well-defined areas that are restricted from patient access (e.g., staff meeting rooms) if they do not otherwise meet the criteria described below and Community Levels are not also high. When Community Levels are high, source control is recommended for everyone.
“When SARS-CoV-2 Community Transmission levels are not high, healthcare facilities could choose not to require universal source control. However, even if source control is not universally required, it remains recommended for individuals in healthcare settings who”:
“*” indicates required fields
- Have suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or other respiratory infection (e.g., those with runny nose, cough, sneeze); or
- Had close contact (patients and visitors) or a higher-risk exposure (HCP) with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, for 10 days after their exposure; or
- Reside or work on a unit or area of the facility experiencing a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak; universal use of source control could be discontinued as a mitigation measure once no new cases have been identified for 14 days; or
- Have otherwise had source control recommended by public health authorities
“Individuals might also choose to continue using source control based on personal preference, informed by their perceived level of risk for infection based on their recent activities (e.g., attending crowded indoor gatherings with poor ventilation) and their potential for developing severe disease,” the CDC adds.
It should be noted that nearly everyone has been exposed to Covid in the nation, mask or no mask.The U.S. is now at over 99% seroprevalence for Covid-19 (nucleocapsid antibodies), meaning that there was near-universal exposure to the virus, despite the vaccine mandates, mask mandates and lockdowns.
The CDC also listed a slew of important Covid-19 updates, just in time for the 2022 midterm elections!
- Updated to note that vaccination status is no longer used to inform source control, screening testing, or post-exposure recommendations
- Updated circumstances when use of source control is recommended
- Updated circumstances when universal use of personal protective equipment should be considered
- Updated recommendations for testing frequency to detect potential for variants with shorter incubation periods and to address the risk for false negative antigen tests in people without symptoms.
- Clarified that screening testing of asymptomatic healthcare personnel, including those in nursing homes, is at the discretion of the healthcare facility
- Updated to note that, in general, asymptomatic patients no longer require empiric use of Transmission-Based Precautions following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Archived the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes and special considerations for nursing homes not otherwise covered in Sections 1 and 2 were added to Section 3: Setting-specific considerations
- Updated screening testing recommendations for nursing home admissions
- Clarified the types of long-term care settings for whom the healthcare infection prevention and control recommendations apply
Medical care facilities were one of the last bastions holding out in the running gag that “masks work” to stop the spread of Covid-19. Now they are free from participating in the charade that wearing surgical and medical masks that were never designed to protect people from airborne pathogens are anything but ‘facial decorations.’
The CDC is finally throwing in the mask.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.