ESSENTIAL SERVICES NEED MASK REQUIREMENTS
A letter to send to government representatives, healthcare providers, transit authorities, store managers, and community leaders.
We need mask requirements at essential services to protect all of us.
Below is a letter I've sent to all my representatives. You can send the letter, edited how you please, to representatives in government using this form if you are in the USA or Canada. It will route to the appropriate reps. Or you can copy & paste the letter, or edit it, to send to whoever you want, in whatever way suits you. I also have a PDF version ready to print. Some governor forms may only include the first 1000 characters (the first paragraph is 998), and it's not possible to send the image, but the default is to send the letter and references. You have the opportunity to review and edit before sending. Thanks for helping me advocate for precautions.
Mask requirements are necessary at essential services to keep these services accessible by mitigating the hazard. One-way masking is not even possible at the DMV, dentists, and healthcare settings where people need to remove masks. Public transit, medical waiting rooms, and government offices are often poorly ventilated crowded areas which are known to promote the spread of disease. Source control is vital. High risk people need to access services. It is not acceptable that disabled, pregnant and seniors, are being put at preventable risk. Long Covid remains a threat. Vaccination lowers the odds of getting Long Covid but not even by half, it does not eliminate the risk.(1) Timely vaccine booster uptake is too low and too spaced out to significantly lower transmission.(2) Risks during pregnancy are serious.(3) Universal masking has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of exposure.(4) There is no shortage of N95s,(5) staff & visitors can and should be provided with high quality masks.
1) Risk Factors Associated With Post−COVID-19 Condition, A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis March 23, 2023 The results of our study showed that vaccination for COVID-19 has a protective role against PCC, with vaccinated individuals having a significantly lower risk compared with unvaccinated individuals. This finding concurs with those of other studies and the recent report from the UK Office of National Statistics that found a 42% lower risk of PCC after 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2802877
2) Image slide from a presentation by Ruth Link-Gelles, at the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting in September 2022, with a graph showing vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic infection, waning for all age groups to around zero by 8 months, with profound waning at 6 months. Image source is a CDC program, Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT): VE analysis for symptomatic infection.
3) JAMA Network: Neurodevelopmental Outcomes at 1 Year in Infants of Mothers Who Tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 During Pregnancy - “Findings: In this cohort study of 7772 infants delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic, those born to the 222 mothers with a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test during pregnancy were more likely to receive a neurodevelopmental diagnosis in the first 12 months after delivery, even after accounting for preterm delivery.” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2793178
4) Efficacy of face masks against respiratory infectious diseases: a systematic review and network analysis of randomized-controlled trials - Eleven out of 16 RCTs that underwent a pairwise meta-analysis revealed a substantially lower infection risk in those donning medical face masks (MFMs) than those without face masks (RR 0.83 95% CI 0.71-0.96). Given the body of evidence through a systematic review and meta-analyses, our findings supported the protective benefits of MFMs in reducing respiratory transmissions, and the universal mask-wearing should be applied-especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34407516/
5) FDA Recommends Transition from Use of Decontaminated Disposable Respirators Letter to Health Care Personnel and Facilities FDA and CDC believe there is adequate supply of respirators to transition away from use of decontamination and bioburden reduction systems. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/fda-recommends-transition-use-decontaminated-disposable-respirators-letter-health-care-personnel-and