Henry Ford’s early implementation of a universal mask policy in the COVID-19 pandemic. . It associated with reduced risk of acquiring COVID-19 among healthcare workers as per the study at Henry Ford Health System. It was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Correlation between the implementation of Henry Ford’s universal mask policy and a significant drop in the rate at which its Healthcare workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It was discovered through the retrospective analysis of an internal hospital quality metric reporting analytics database. It is not associates with electronic medical records.
The COVID-19 cases among Henry Ford’s healthcare workers began to fall with downward trend. The diagnoses and hospitalizations across the State of Michigan continued to rise through late March 2020 by the time of the first peak of COVID-19.
“This research reinforces the fact that mask wearing is effective in reducing the risk of acquiring COVID-19. It validates our decision early on to implement the universal mask policy, not only to protect our team members. But also to ensure they are able to care for members of the community who had contracted COVID-19. At Henry Ford Health System, our universal mask policy issued on March 26, 2020 ensured all staff, both clinical and non-clinical. It received surgical or procedural masks. And mandated that staff wear a mask at work while also following all other personal protective equipment requirements. Our hope is that the findings of this study continue to encourage members of the community to wear a mask in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations,” says Steven Kalkanis, M.D., CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group.
Universal Mask Policy during COVID-19:
Evidence states that the healthcare workers have a threefold increased risk of testing compared to the general population. 19.2% healthcare workers at Henry Ford were symptomatic for COVID-19 and underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing from March 12 – August 10, 2020.
The single change point in the data occurred when the rate of new cases began to trend downward before March 28-30. The odds reduced by half every 10.5 – 13.5 days of a tested healthcare worker having a positive result.
“At a time when much was unknown about the novel coronavirus, this initiative truly helped keep our healthcare workers safe”, says Dee Dee Wang, M.D. He is the Director of Structural Heart Imaging at Henry Ford Hospital and principal investigator of the study.
The healthcare workers and community members should remain vigilant.
Henry Ford at the Ford Field mass vaccination site provides onsite expertise. He also provides oversight for the vaccine administrations, medical care, and operations . Ford Field plans to set up 68 vaccination pods on the concourse. And is open to those who meet the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vaccine guidelines.