The Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity is urging hospitals and other healthcare providers to restore universal mask mandates in order to protect against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses as the holiday season approaches.
The organization, which was established during the pandemic to safeguard those particularly at risk of contracting COVID, recently conducted a virtual press conference to encourage health systems to reconsider their masking policies. Many hospitals had discontinued mask mandates after the public health emergency ended in May.
According to the coalition, the continued spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses poses a significant threat to public health, particularly during the upcoming holiday season when people are expected to gather with friends and family.
The coalition is calling on healthcare providers to implement universal mask mandates in all settings where patients, visitors, and staff are present. This includes hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.
“We cannot afford to take any chances with public health,” said [Coalition spokesperson]. “We urge all healthcare providers to restore mask mandates immediately in order to protect our communities from further outbreaks.”