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Group seeks to make masking permanent in Massachusetts hospitals, doctor's offices

Healthcare workers seek to make masking permanent
Healthcare workers seek to make masking permanent 01:38

BOSTON - Health care workers are pushing to keep universal masking in health care settings as the practice is slated to come to an end in about a month in Massachusetts.

However, the Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity says it's important to remember that seven to 10 people in the state are still dying from COVID-19 every day.

On May 11, the Department of Public Health will end the state's Airborne Infection Control Policy, making mandatory masking a thing of the past.

In an open letter with more than 700 signatures, the coalition asks for permanent mandatory masking in hospitals, doctors' offices and dental offices. The group says unmasking will put more people at risk for a host of health issues and could make current staffing shortages worse.

The group is also petitioning the state to keep free, fast PCR testing available.

The Department of Health says its decision to drop the masking rules aligns with CDC guidance and federal requirements based on COVID-19 transmission rates. The department says it will continue to monitor cases and adjust if necessary.

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