Universal Masking is an Effective Strategy to Flatten the SARS-CoV-2 Healthcare Worker Epidemiologic Curve

Dr. Jessie Seidelman lead the DICON physician team to show that universal masking is an effective strategy to flatten the SARS-CoV-2 healthcare worker epidemiologic curve in an arctile published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 

Atypical presentations of SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with its ability to be transmitted from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals, pose unique infection prevention challenges. Universal masking policies requiring all healthcare workers (HCW) to wear face masks while on hospital premises are believed to reduce the risk of transmission in healthcare environments by providing source control and decreasing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus-laden oral and nasal droplets from infected individuals. In addition to daily symptom screening and removal from work of symptomatic employees, Duke Health implemented universal masking as a strategy to preserve the workforce and protect patients by reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from HCW to HCW, from patient to HCW, and from HCW to patient during asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic exposures. This study aimed to measure the effect of universal masking on SARS-CoV-2 acquisition within the healthcare setting.

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