Nurses and Researchers Express Concern Over CDC Guidelines on Mask Use

Nurses and Researchers Express Concern Over CDC Guidelines on Mask Use

Nurses, researchers, and workplace safety officers are raising concerns about the new guidelines proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the use of masks in hospitals. The CDC’s advisory committee has been revising the 2007 standards for infection control and released a draft of the proposals in June. However, many health care professionals and scientists were troubled by the draft’s conclusion that N95 face masks are equivalent to surgical masks in certain settings.

The committee was scheduled to vote on these changes in August but postponed the action until November. The final advice from the committee will be used to develop guidelines that hospitals across the United States typically follow. With the rise in COVID-19 cases nationally, there is growing concern about the potential impact of these guidelines.

Critics argue that N95 masks, along with ventilation and air-purifying technology, can significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19 within hospital settings, thus protecting both patients and healthcare workers. They point to studies that have shown the effectiveness of N95 masks in reducing infection rates compared to surgical masks.

The draft guidelines from the CDC’s committee, however, concluded that there is no difference in protection between N95 masks and surgical masks. This conclusion contradicts the CDC’s own report, which found that N95 masks cut the odds of testing positive for COVID-19 by 83%, compared to 66% for surgical masks.

In addition, researchers and occupational safety experts are perplexed by the committee’s categorization of airborne pathogens. The committee suggests that surgical masks, rather than N95 masks, are sufficient protection against “common, endemic” viruses. Critics argue that this categorization does not adequately account for the potential harm these viruses can cause, especially to vulnerable populations.

Overall, nurses, researchers, and workplace safety officers urge the CDC to reconsider its guidelines and prioritize the use of N95 masks, along with other safety measures, in order to effectively combat the transmission of COVID-19 and protect the well-being of healthcare workers and patients.


– KFF Health News: [source_1]
– Cal/OSHA: [source_2]

All Rights Reserved 2021.
| .