The Valencian Community announces the withdrawal of mandatory masks in health centers and hospitals

A group of people in the waiting room of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, January 2024 (Alberto Ortega / Europa Press)

Starting Wednesday, masks will no longer be mandatory in health centers and hospitals in the Valencian Community. The Ministry of Health will send to the health departments a resolution from the General Directorate of Public Health to communicate the withdrawal of the mandatory use of masks in health and social health centers, which was established on January 5 as a preventive measure against the rebound in respiratory virus infections, when the incidence reached 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This measure will come into force as of this Wednesday, after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana.

The Minister of Health, Marciano Gómez, explained that the decision “responds to the notable decline recorded in the last three weeks in the Community of the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), which currently stand at 830 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and 15.7 percent of cases respectively, according to data provided by the Epidemiology service of the General Directorate of Public Health.”

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Furthermore, the councilor has indicated that the decision “complies with the indications of the Ministry of Health that established a continuous decrease in incidence rates for two weeks as a requirement for the removal of the mandatory mask,” as reported by the Generalitat in a statement. .

The data reflect that the ARI incidence rate has decreased by 44.7% since last January 5. Likewise, the incidence of severe acute respiratory infections has decreased by 58.2% since the same date. The incidence has behaved in a similar way in the most vulnerable age groups of people such as those under 4 years of age and those over 65, among whom there is a decrease of 28.3 and 44.8% respectively.

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On the other hand, the Minister of Health has stressed that, despite the withdrawal of the mandatory widespread use of masks, the management of the health departments, supported by their own protocols and the recommendations of the Preventive Medicine Services, “will be able establish the mandatory use of a mask in addition to the established indications, depending on the epidemiological situation and the particular structural and functional characteristics of its dependent centers.

The Minister recalled that the vaccination campaign is still underway and health centers will continue to administer doses of the flu and Covid 19 vaccines without the need for an appointment, with the aim of promoting the immunization of the population.

(Information prepared by Europa Press)

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