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Covid-19, flu, bronchiolitis… should you wear a mask again at your workplace?

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Covid-19, flu, bronchiolitis… should you wear a mask again at your workplace?
Written by madishthestylebar

the essential
While contamination is on the rise again in France, the question of wearing a compulsory mask indoors is coming back more than ever. In any case, it is becoming more and more essential in professional circles, where infections are particularly numerous.

A health situation “unprecedented, worrying and full of unknowns”. It is in these terms that Public Health France characterized the French case a few days ago. In the words of the Minister of Health, François Braun, “we are observing the early and simultaneous circulation of three epidemics on our territory: influenza, bronchiolitis and Covid-19”, putting a strain on the French hospital system. As for bronchiolitis – which primarily strikes children – the epidemic has reached its peak, even if it “continues at a high rate”. With regard to the flu, all French regions entered the epidemic phase this Wednesday, December 14.

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On the Covid-19 side, as the holidays approach, contamination also remains particularly high: more than 61,000 new cases are recorded every day on average in the country. Faced with this increase in viral circulation, “we ask to reinforce the wearing of masks, as well as barrier gestures and vaccination”, pleads Brigitte Autran, president of the Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks (Covars). This particularly tense epidemiological context has already prompted many French people to put their masks back on, not only in public transport, but especially in the workplace.

Many contaminations at work

It has been nine months to the day that the mask is no longer compulsory in companies, except in certain specialized establishments belonging to the medico-social and health sector: hospitals, clinics, health centers, offices of medical professionals and psychologists, osteopaths, chiropractors and psychotherapists, pharmacies, medical analysis laboratories and nursing homes. If the mask is also strongly in professional spaces by the authorities, it is because contamination at work remains particularly numerous. According to the latest study by the Institut Pasteur on the places of transmission of the disease, dating from June 2021, around 29% of out-of-home contamination takes place in the professional environment. This figure obviously depends on the sector of activity.

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Covid-19, flu, bronchiolitis … the Minister of Health François Braun calls for a “jump” from the French to “avoid the worst”

Whatever one may say, in view of the end-of-year celebrations and family reunions, wearing a mask can help prevent infections. A recent scientific study published in the journal Scientific Reports demonstrates the effectiveness of masks against infections. Research teams have found, for example, that for fabric masks, most viruses end up in the middle layer, between the inner and outer layers of the mask. In addition, to protect against contamination, teleworking – when possible – can be a good option to limit contamination.

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