New wave of COVID? Face masks are once again mandatory in US hospitals due to peak infections

Hospitals at least five of the 50 states of the United States have returned to require the use of face masks due to the increase in infections of COVID-19, flu and other respiratory diseases.

California, Illinois, Maryland, NY and Massachusetts are some of the states where health care facilities have made mandatory the use of masks for both patients and medical staff.

This Thursday, the hospital group Johns Hopkinsone of the largest in Maryland, sent an email to its patients to let them know that the use of masks will once again be mandatory.

In any case, the increase in infections is difficult to measure in the United States because many states have stopped collecting data and the only federal agency still publishing numbers on the impact of the virus is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These CDC data show that, four years after the SARS-CoV-2 virus arrived in the United States, hundreds of people continue to die every week in the country.

1,500 deaths a week

Specifically, according to the CDC, in the week of December 9, 2023, the last with complete data, there were 1,614 deaths by COVID-19. On average, in the last few weeks with complete data, there were 1,488 weekly deaths.

Although these numbers of deaths from COVID-19 remain high, they are lower than the record of 25,974 deaths registered in the week ending January 9, 2021.

On the other hand, flu was the leading cause of 163 deaths in the week ending December 9, 2023according to the CDC.

Since the virus reached the United States, more than 1.1 million people have died from COVID-19 in the countrya figure proportionally higher than that of other developed countries, according to the CDC.