The Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity is calling on hospitals and healthcare providers to reintroduce universal mask mandates in order to safeguard against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses during the upcoming holiday season. The coalition, which was established during the pandemic with the aim of protecting individuals who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, held a virtual press conference on Monday to urge health systems to reconsider their masking policies. In many cases, hospitals had lifted their mask mandates after the public health emergency ended in May.
According to the Boston Business Journal, the coalition’s call for renewed mask mandates comes as concerns about a potential second wave of COVID-19 continue to mount. With flu season approaching, there is also a risk of other respiratory illnesses spreading throughout the community. The coalition believes that reinstating mask mandates would be an effective way to reduce the spread of these diseases and protect vulnerable populations, including those with pre-existing medical conditions and older adults.
During the press conference, representatives from the coalition emphasized the importance of taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of illnesses during this critical time. “We cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal when it comes to protecting ourselves and our communities,” said one representative. “By implementing universal mask mandates now, we can help mitigate the impact of any potential outbreaks and ensure that everyone has access to safe and effective healthcare.”