Masking Mandates 2024 They're Back! Here's What You Need To Know as a Dental Provider.

The upswing in respiratory ailments, such as RSV, influenza, and COVID-19, has compelled various healthcare systems and institutions nationwide to reinstate mask mandates. According to many major news sources, the current wave linked to the JN.1 variant is the second-largest of the pandemic, following the emergence of the omicron variant, with approximately two million Americans contracting COVID-19 daily.

In response to this surge, healthcare facilities in New York, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts have implemented mandatory mask-wearing for both patients and healthcare providers.

Nearly 35,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the week ending Dec. 30, up 20.4% from the week prior, CDC data shows.

Heading into fall, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising, according to the CDC's most recent data, and that trend has already prompted several hospitals across the country to reinstate mask policies. Hospitalizations for respiratory viruses are on the rise nationwide following a holiday season marked by extensive travel and indoor gatherings.

How Do Masking Mandates in 2024 Effect YOU?

Mask mandates have been reinstated in healthcare systems across several U.S. states as cases and hospitalizations of respiratory illnesses—including Covid, the flu and RSV–continue to increase nationwide.

Masking Mandates 2024 State Updates


Los Angeles County—which requires masking in healthcare settings when the county reaches the medium level for Covid hospitalizations (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as between 10-19.9 new COVID hospital admissions per 100,000 over seven days)—reinstated the mandate last month when it hit that level.

New York

New York City reinstated a mask mandate in all of its 11 public hospitals, 30 health centers and five long-term care facilities.


In response to the Illinois Department of Public Health's recommendation for masks in healthcare facilities and an increased call for vigilance in December, various hospital systems, including Cook County Health encompassing Chicago, and Endeavor Health, have implemented mandatory mask policies. Additionally, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago declared on Tuesday that masks will be obligatory for all visitors, patients, and staff in specified areas on the campus, such as hospital waiting rooms.


The Berkshire Health System has disclosed its decision to mandate masks in its facilities, effective from Wednesday. This directive stems from the observation of "significant levels" of respiratory illnesses. Notably, nearly 17% of the 65,956 emergency room visits in the state, spanning from December 17, 2023, to December 23, 2023, were attributed to respiratory illnesses.

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