Infection Preventionists to Public: Wear a Mask

November 20, 2020
Frank Diamond

APIC’s warning comes amid a slew of discomforting statistics. Yesterday, the United States recorded more than 187,000 new cases of COVID-19, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began.

The record-breaking surges in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) alarms healthcare experts especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. Wear a mask and take other precautions, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), said in a press release.

APIC 2020 President Connie Steed, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, said in the press release: “Universal use of masks in public, in accordance with CDC guidelines, is the most effective step we can take to protect ourselves and one another from COVID-19. As an organization of infection preventionists dedicated to stopping the spread of infection, we urge every American to adopt this simple measure to protect their health and the health of those around them.”

APIC’s warning comes amid a slew of discomforting statistics. Yesterday, the United States recorded more than 187,000 new cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s the highest one-day total since the pandemic began. Also, yesterday over 2000 people in the United States died from COVID-19, and that’s the most in a single day since May.

And it could get worse, much worse. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is also tracking COVID’s deadly march through our society. It says that by mid-January, about 2500 people a day will be dying from COVID. And to show just how quickly things are moving, last week the University of Washington researchers projected just how many people in the country will die from COVID by March 1: about 439,000. This week, they adjusted their forecast upward by some 32,000, now saying that it expects 471,000 people in the United States to die from COVID by March 1.

In its press release, APIC notes that the healthcare system feels the strain. Hospital beds are filling up around the country, and many states, cities and towns have had to once again order lockdowns and mandate the wearing of masks.

“We are all tired of this pandemic, and the holidays are upon us, but we cannot let our guard down against this deadly virus as we approach the winter months,” Steed said in the press release. “While news of a vaccine is welcome, we must continue masking and social distancing until broad distribution of the vaccine becomes a reality. With cases rising, and many hospitals at or nearly at capacity, we all must do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask when you’re outside your home, stay six feet from others, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and stay home if you feel sick. By following these simple measures, we can fight this pandemic together, so we can all get back to normal.”