COVID-19: Universal Mask Wearing (JAMA) and Israel’s Concerning Experience with Opening Schools

JAMA Editorial (July 14, 2020) JT Brooks, JC Butler, RR Redfield (all authors from CDC), JAMA. Published online July 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.13107Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now

An excerpt:

In this issue of JAMA, Wang et al present evidence that universal masking of health care workers (HCWs) and patients can help reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections.1 In the largest health care system in Massachusetts with more than 75 000 employees, in tandem with routine symptom screening and diagnostic testing of symptomatic HCWs for SARS-CoV-2 infection, leadership mandated a policy of universal masking for all HCWs as well as for all patients. The authors present data that prior to implementation of universal masking in late March 2020, new infections among HCWs with direct or indirect patient contact were increasing exponentially, from 0% to 21.3% (a mean increase of 1.16% per day). However, after the universal masking policy was in place, the proportion of symptomatic HCWs with positive test results steadily declined, from 14.7% to 11.5% (a mean decrease of 0.49% per day). Although not a randomized clinical trial, this study provides critically important data to emphasize that masking helps prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2…. the public needs consistent, clear, and appealing messaging that normalizes community masking. At this critical juncture when COVID-19 is resurging, broad adoption of cloth face coverings is a civic duty, a small sacrifice reliant on a highly effective low-tech solution that can help turn the tide favorably in national and global efforts against COVID-19.

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Some of the uptick in cases likely related to lack of concern and not using masks

3 thoughts on “COVID-19: Universal Mask Wearing (JAMA) and Israel’s Concerning Experience with Opening Schools

  1. Pingback: More School Advice for Organ Transplant Recipients, Plus Another Benefit of the Influenza Vaccine | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: NY Times: Opening Schools Safely | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: Reopening Primary Schools -What’s At Stake | gutsandgrowth

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