Bay Area Counties Implementing Mask Mandates for Hospitals to Combat ‘Tripledemic’

Some counties in California’s Bay Area counties are reimplementing mask mandates in hopes of preventing the spread of what officials describe as a “tripledemic.”

The coronavirus pandemic began nearly four years ago, but masks are still making comebacks in certain parts of the country, despite numerous studies pointing their general inefficacy when it comes to stopping the transmission of the coronavirus.

That is not stopping California’s Santa Clara County, however, as it is now requiring masks for everyone — both workers and patients — in health care facilities and hospitals.

“The order in Santa Clara County does require masking for everyone who steps into a health care facility,” Santa Clara County’s Deputy Health Officer Dr. Sarah Rudman said, according to ABC 7.

“And that’s because we’re all at risk during this winter virus season. We all need to play a role in protecting ourselves and protecting each other,” she continued.

According to ABC 7, several other counties — including Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Sonoma — are following a modified mask requirement, forcing workers rather than patients to mask up in health care facilities. Dr. Karen Smith, Sonoma County’s Interim Health Officer, seemingly attributed the modified mask rule excluding patients to “the incredible pushback on mask mandates.”

The mask mandates come as officials attempt to combat a “tripledemic,” which describes the emergence of coronavirus, the flu, and RSV this fall and winter season. Many outlets, as well as medical facilities, have glommed onto the term.

“As the winter months approach and seasonal sicknesses arise, you may hear the term tripledemic more frequently in the news. What is a tripledemic? And should you be worried?” Massachusetts’ Baystate Health asked in a September 14 update.

As Breitbart News reported in September:

The topic stems from “Respiratory Disease Season Outlook” summary posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released last week, which warned that the coronavirus has “become a part of the respiratory virus season,” in addition to the seasonal flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“Analysis from CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics shows that with the addition of a third virus (COVID-19) that can cause severe disease, even an average respiratory season can place significant strain on our healthcare system,” the update warned, noting that these viruses tend to “circulate more heavily in the community” in the fall and winter. The federal health agency explained that it measures a season’s severity, in part, on how many individuals are hospitalized for the viruses. However, it expects this year to be “similar” to last year in terms of hospitalizations for these three viruses, which many have said comprises a “tripledemic.”

The push for masks mandates come despite studies suggesting that masks are relatively ineffective at reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the coronavirus. Perhaps most well-known is a study from Cochrane Library, which ultimately concluded, “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza-like illness (ILI)/COVID-19 like illness compared to not wearing masks[.]”

That admission should come to no surprise to the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who in 2020 privately admitted that “the typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.” Yet, he went on to push universal masking throughout the pandemic.

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