Maintain or Enact Universal Masking at Healthcare Systems

The policy to end universal masking in healthcare settings is dangerous, unethical, and based on flawed data. Please join us in sending a clear message to healthcare system leadership that you demand for protections and universal masking.

Health care is the most essential place to prevent spread of infection, and keeping healthcare settings safe should be a bare minimum of accessibility in every state.

(The form will route the letter to the email inbox of every hospital CEO and CMO we have in our database.)

List of Hospitals by State:

Example Letter:

“First, do no harm.” As a patient, I want you, the leader of a healthcare system, to ensure our safety from COVID-19 and other airborne threats when we get care at your organization. Protecting me and my family from an airborne virus must be treated as a key aspect of ensuring high quality care. To ensure a SAFE HEALTHCARE REQUIRES UNIVERSAL MASKING AMONG STAFF AND PATIENTS IN ALL CLINICAL SETTINGS, with high quality N95/KN95/KF94 masks readily available to everyone.

A conservative tally from the US Health and Human Services showed that over 138,000 hospital-acquired COVID infections have occurred in the first three months of 2023. The number infected in hospitals will increase if your organization and others do not implement universal masking on an ongoing basis. This universal masking policy will protect your patients and visitors as well as staff from infections, and will help reduce staffing shortages from preventable illness.

The hospital-acquired COVID infections incurred at your healthcare system not only endangers your own staff and patients, but also increases community spread. That’s an especially great danger for high risk residents, disabled people, older adults, and infants who are unable to mask.  

Already, an array of hospitals in Washington State, including the University of Washington Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital, have collaborated to continue universal masking policies. They care about their patients. We urge you as well to maintain or enact these same precautions.

Subsequently, relying on community infection data to stop/start your masking policy is not protective for at least two reasons. First, there is now so little reported testing (for multiple reasons, including lack of federal funds for PCR testing) that community data is probably unreliable. Second, because hospitals provide care to both COVID patients and other very vulnerable members of the community, your facility is among the most likely places for patients, especially high risk patients, to encounter people with COVID. Failing to maintain universal masking violates medical ethics principles, notably, to do no harm.

Health care facilities should be a place of healing where risk of infection is very minimal. As HIV spread, and a deadly bloodborne infection became common even in asymptomatic patients, healthcare providers recognized the need for change, and use of gloves and safe handling of sharps became standard healthcare practice incorporated into OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. Now, as the world struggles with a widespread, disabling and even deadly airborne infection, I urge you to consider my voice in your policy decision and to maintain or restore universal masking as the new infection control standard.

You must maintain or enact universal masking!

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