This piece discusses why many institutions have enacted a universal masking policy in healthcare settings and important considerations and options for facilities considering such a policy.
Due to concerns about atypical presentations and pre-symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2, many health care institutions and hospitals have adopted a universal masking policy that requires all personnel to wear surgical masks.
The authors note that an adequate supply of masks is a prerequisite for implementing a universal masking policy. Additionally, this policy should be implemented at the same time as visitor restrictions and employee screening for fever and other symptoms of a respiratory illness at their point of entry into the hospital. The authors warn against a false sense of security with a universal masking policy and also consider universal face shielding as a potential solution in a time of critical mask shortages.