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Universal masking policy linked to low risk of Covid-19 spread among healthcare workers

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2021

Researchers at Henry Ford Health System found that adherence to universal mask policy in the face of the pandemic was linked to a low risk of disease spread among healthcare workers.

For the study, the researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of an internal hospital quality metric.

They discovered a correlation between the implementation of Henry Ford’s universal mask policy and a significant drop in the rate at which its Healthcare workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

As the cases were rising exponentially across the state of Michigan, the cases among Henry Ford’s healthcare workers began to fall due to the masking policy.

The authors of the study stated that this reinforces the fact that mask-wearing is effective in reducing the risk of acquiring Covid-19.

Steven Kalkanis, M.D., CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group noted: “Our hope is that the findings of this study continue to encourage members of the community to wear a mask in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.”

An earlier study by The Lancet Public Health journal suggested that healthcare workers have a threefold increased risk of reporting testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.

As of March 22, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported more than 450,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic. It reported nearly 1,500 Covid-19 related deaths among healthcare workers.

With the arrival of Covid-variants in the community, even with Covid-19 vaccines now being rolled out, healthcare workers and community members should remain vigilant and continue to wear a mask in accordance with CDC recommendations, the researchers added.

The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Published on March 27, 2021

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