Study Shows Masking Policy Significantly Reduced Spread of COVID-19 
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A recent study from the Journal of American Medical Association shows that having a universal masking policy leads to a significant decrease in COVID-19 infections.

Starting in late March, Boston’s Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest hospital system (12 in total), required all of its 78,000 employees to wear surgical masks. 

Researchers were able to compare the workers’ electronic medical records from the beginning of the month — or the ‘pre-intervention period” (March 1-24) — with the “intervention period,” where masks were worn (April 11-30). The study allowed for a transition period (March 25-April 11) to account for a lag in symptoms. 

The “pre-intervention” period had a rate of positive COVID-19 tests that rose nearly 1.2 percent each day, with the number of cases doubling every 3.6 days.

During the intervention period where masks were worn, positive cases among employees decreased from 14.7 percent to 11.5 percent


COVID-19 Rates Dropped in Hospital, Rose in State


Though the number of cases dropped among the workers at the hospital during the study period, the rate rose throughout the state.

According to The New York Times, cases in Massachusetts rose from one positive case on March 1 to 1,940 positive cases on April 30. 

Even though the masks were used in addition to other protection strategies, the study concludes that universal masking is an important part of infection reduction. 

“These results support universal masking as part of a multipronged, infection-reduction strategy in health care settings,” Deepak L. Bhatt, study co-author and executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Mass General Brigham, said in a recent press release.

“While we studied health care workers, the results also apply to other situations in which [physical] distancing is not possible.”

If you do not currently have a universal masking policy for your worksite, consider the success stories of large workforces such as the Mass General Brigham hospitals. You could drastically prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace and avoid potential shutdowns or fines from OSHA. 



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In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

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