Are we Forgetting the "Universal" in Universal Masking? Current Challenges and Future Solutions

In this Letter to the Editor, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, DICON Drs Sonali Advani, Mike Yarrginton, Becky Smith, Dev Anderson, and Dan Sexton discuss the importance of universal masking in healthcare settings. 

The team recently surveyed 50 community hospitals within the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and found that 90% of these hospitals had also adopted universal masking policies. However, it was also determined that actual compliance with universal masking policies was suboptimal, particularly among staff outside of clinical care settings, including administrative offices, shared workrooms, and breakrooms. Poor compliance in these shared spaces led to known exposures in some of these hospitals, leading to employee furloughs, a substantial burden of contact tracing and unnecessary anxiety for exposed individuals. 

The link to the article listing can be found here