Home / Healthcare / Reconsidering Mask Mandates Amid Rising Covid Cases and Variant Concerns in the U.S.

Reconsidering Mask Mandates Amid Rising Covid Cases and Variant Concerns in the U.S.

Spread the love

Reconsidering Mask Mandates Amid Rising Covid Cases and Variant Concerns in the U.S.

With the recent surge in Covid cases and hospital admissions across the United States, coupled with the appearance of novel virus variants, there is growing uncertainty regarding the need for a resurgence in mask mandates. It is becoming increasingly evident that individuals who are infected with Covid-19 should unequivocally wear masks when in the presence of others as a vital measure to curtail the transmission of the virus.

For individuals who remain uninfected, the choice to wear a mask hinges on several factors. These considerations encompass your individual risk profile, the prevailing Covid-19 infection rates within your geographical area, and the nature of your interactions with different individuals, as advised by public health experts. Primarily, those at elevated risk of severe illness or fatality resulting from Covid-19 should seriously contemplate donning masks, particularly in densely populated public settings and areas lacking proper ventilation.

This recommendation extends to older adults and individuals with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, a prior history of heart disease or stroke, or other immunocompromised states, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Andrew Pekosz, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, emphasized that when there is a surge in Covid cases, it is prudent to prioritize informing these highly vulnerable populations about the need to take precautionary measures, including the consideration of mask usage, to safeguard their well-being.

This surge in hospitalizations and fatalities is primarily attributed to Covid infections among individuals aged 65 and above and those in high-risk categories, as explained by Pekosz. In the latest report from the CDC, it was noted that weekly new Covid-related hospital admissions in the United States witnessed a substantial increase of nearly 19% over the past week, marking the sixth consecutive week of rising hospitalizations. This escalation has been propelled by the emergence of newer Covid variants, such as the now-prevalent EG.5, known as “Eris,” and several XBB strains, all of which are descendants of the original omicron variant.

The upcoming Covid vaccine releases from Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are scheduled for a mid-September rollout and are anticipated to offer robust protection against these emerging variants. However, in the interim, experts underscore the significance of mask usage as a valuable measure individuals can employ to safeguard themselves, especially as Covid transmission intensifies nationwide. This recommendation extends to Americans with average risk profiles, who should also contemplate the use of masks based on their location and the individuals they come into contact with.

Dr. Francesca Torriani, a clinical medicine professor at the University of California, San Diego, stressed the efficacy of masking as a crucial lesson from the pandemic, emphasizing its role in preventing transmission. Additionally, Pavitra Roychoudhury, a laboratory medicine professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, highlighted that the implementation of mask mandates at the institutional level in specific healthcare environments and businesses can significantly diminish the likelihood of encountering extensive outbreaks.

Nevertheless, there remains uncertainty regarding the willingness of Americans to adopt masking once again. A considerable portion of the population does not seem sufficiently concerned about the recent surge in cases to modify their behavior. This sentiment was underscored by a recent poll conducted by Axios and Ipsos, where Covid ranked at the bottom of the list of perceived public health threats among respondents. Furthermore, the poll revealed that the percentage of individuals who consistently wear masks, either partially or throughout the day, has dwindled to a mere 15%.

About Siya

Siya has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. He holds 7 years’ experience in this field. She holds a keen interest in the know-how of what is brewing in healthcare and science.

Check Also

FDA Grants Approval to Pfizer's Maternal RSV Vaccine for Infants

FDA Grants Approval to Pfizer’s Maternal RSV Vaccine for Infants

Spread the love On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its nod to ...