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Mandatory masks, where and when

Covid cases are increasing again and with them also the nightmare of masks, the only medical device that could be able to contain the spread of the virus.
In recent weeks, medical health personnel have in fact noted an increase not only in cases of Covid-19, but also in cases of influenza and para-influenza viruses.
In fact, Sars-Cov-2 and the influenza virus are putting the inhabitants of the peninsula to the test.
And in these weeks of December when everyone is rushing to buy gifts, it may be difficult to avoid the two viruses.
And it will be even more so during the holidays given that, precisely around Christmas, a double peak in infections is expected.
The Sars-CoV-2 and influenza viruses, in fact, will reach the peak of their speed.
Meanwhile, current data from the Ministry of Health and the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) show the first symptoms of a full-blown health emergency: from 23 to 29 November, 52,177 new positive cases were recorded, equal to +16.1 % compared to the previous week; hospitalizations also increased with +25.3%; finally, deaths also increased, with 291 deaths compared to 235 last week, marking a +23.8%.
But the cold also brought with it an increase in the incidence of flu syndromes with 9.2 cases per thousand attended compared to 7.9 in the previous week.
In the last seven days, 542 thousand cases have been recorded, for a total of over 2.3 million Italians in bed with fever and pain.
Finally, the epidemic curve of flu-like syndromes is not decreasing either, showing values above the epidemic threshold.
In this climate, virologists launch an appeal inviting us to "not waste time", proposing a return to masks.
But currently where and when is it mandatory to wear a mask? Let's dispel any doubts.
Below is everything you need to know.
read also The new symptoms of the Covid variant of November 2023 When is it mandatory to wear a mask? Since the ministerial order of 28 April 2023, no one is no longer obliged to wear a mask, with some exceptions.
It is currently still mandatory to wear a mask if you go to: Rsa; long-term care facilities; rehabilitation facilities; hospice.
Added to these is the obligation to wear a mask in hospital wards that host frail, elderly or immunosuppressed patients.
Departments that must be identified by the healthcare management of the facilities, leaving a certain discretion to the healthcare staff of the individual facilities.
In all other departments of hospitals and clinics, including private ones, the medical director or owner decides whether it is necessary for users and visitors to wear a mask.
For other public contexts, such as workplaces, schools, transport, clubs and public places, there is no Covid obligation.
If you are positive, do you have to wear a mask? Stop isolating Covid cases as well as stop masks.
In fact, it is not mandatory to wear a mask even if you test positive for Covid and the same goes for close contacts of a confirmed case.
And if there are no longer any obligations, the recommendations remain such as those to stay at home if you are symptomatic, or to "wear a respiratory protection device – surgical mask or Ffp2 – if you come into contact with other people", avoiding crowded places.
Everything, therefore, depends on the maturity and civil responsibility of the individual who should listen to the advice of virological experts, who insist that the mask be worn: but when? read also Pneumonia China children, symptoms and causes: full hospitals, is it a new Covid? Masks, when it is appropriate to wear them: what do the experts say? Faced with the trend of increasing Covid and flu cases, many virologists, who have been working on the Covid front for years, have invited citizens to wear masks, but in what contexts would it be appropriate to wear protective equipment? According to Giovanni Maga, director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Cnr, it is necessary to return to masks especially for: those who work and are in contact with people; frail patients.
Furthermore, according to Maga, a "more persuasive vaccination campaign" would be needed and he warns: We know that the virus now causes modest symptoms in the majority of cases, this is because the population has acquired a fair amount of immunity, but this must not distract us.
The fact that the RT is above the epidemic threshold means that infections are expanding.
In terms of masks, Fabrizio Pregliasco, health director of the Galeazzi Hospital in Milan, also proposes going back to wearing masks, especially on public transport, washing hands frequently.
“If you want to avoid contagion, you need a mask.” Massimo Ciccozzi, molecular epidemiologist, head of the Medical Statistics and Molecular Epidemiology Unit at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, also suggests a return to protective devices, recalling that the important thing is to understand that "this does not mean going back two years: it's something we learned with Covid, we have to use common sense." And what we are talking about is really common sense: although there are no laws that require masks, it is good to appeal to your sense of civil responsibility, using a mask in crowded places and staying at home in case the first symptoms appear , taking a test as soon as possible.
read also Can you go to work with Covid?

Author: A.W.M.

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