As Nation Debates Masking, COVID Cases Continue to Rise | Hartford Hospital

April 18, 2022

To mask or not to mask is being debated across the country, but one thing is certain – COVID-19[feminine] cases are on the rise again.

Connecticut‘s positivity rate is about 6.5%, the highest in nearly two months. There have been nearly 4,000 positive cases in the past week, the most in a seven-day period since early March.

Just today, Philadelphia became the first major city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate despite opposition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demanded that masking continue on planes, only to be overturned by a judge. Locally, the University of Connecticut has reinstated its on-campus mask mandate due to rising COVID cases.

And with the Easter gatherings barely in the rear-view mirror window, the numbers will likely continue to rise.

Ulysses Wu, MD, chief epidemiologist and infectious disease medical director at Hartford Health Care, said all signs point to a continued rise, but nothing like what Connecticut saw in its first wave of omicron variants. He said cases would start to decline again in the coming weeks.

But one thing is certain – the best advice is to mask up if you are indoors, he said. Period.

“I don’t think we need to look broadly at indoor mask mandates at this time, but individual indoor masking should be encouraged,” Wu said.

As for the CDC’s guidelines for masking on airplanes being rescinded, Wu said, “I don’t think it’s particularly wise, but people still have the option of wearing a mask.”

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