United Hospital Quietly Issues Mask Mandate; Nurses Revolt, Say Not Following Own Rules

Nurses at United Hospital in downtown St Paul, MN reached out to us about a recent policy that went into effect that is causing some contention with medical staff. A new mask mandate is in effect at Allina Health system hospitals for all "direct and indirect patient care" and it impacts "staff, volunteers, contractors and vendors."

According to the policy, posted below, this mask mandate was only supposed to take effect if the "CDC state/county COVID-19 hospitalization levels" are at a medium level or higher, for two consecutive weeks. Those levels never reached it and currently sit at green.


The masking requirement also is met if the state ILI (Influenza-like illnesses) activity is moderate or higher, but according to the CDC, Minnesota is at a very low level. 

So what's the rationale behind the masking policy? Cloth masks are useless at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and wearing them becomes a nuisance when outside of operating rooms. The current policy calls for staff to wear them anytime they're "traveling in public spaces."

Our sources at the hospital informed us that some staff are already revolting and refusing to participate in the bizarre policy. However, one nurse was scolded in front of others by her superior for taking a stance against wearing the useless masks. Many are hoping the hospital will change its policy though, just like Children's Minnesota did following our reporting on their mask mandate in January. 

Parting ways from the discussion on the efficacy of masks, as a human, I prefer seeing the face of the people I'm interacting with. And I don't think I'm abnormal here. Masking takes away that personal human connection because we are hardwired to study people's faces and facial expressions. If there's no scientific reason for masking, for God's sake, let's return to normal!


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  • Paul Bade
    commented 2024-02-25 08:48:16 -0600
    For those of us who are hard of hearing, listening to someone wearing a mask is a miserable, stressful experience. The masks muffle the high tones so critical to picking out the consonants, and they deprive the listener of the ability to use lip-reading to cross-check word perception.

    Masks don’t do much to protect those wearing them, unless they’re biohazard rated hoods. Properly rated and worn masks may reduce the probability of transmitting bacterial infection to others nearby, in particular, patients receiving care. Other than that, consideration for the basics of human interaction should be a check on mandating masks. Let’s see some solid evidence that they reduce iatrogenic infections sufficiently to justify the risk of a critical error caused by poor communication.
  • Jake Duesenberg
    published this page in News 2024-02-13 12:20:40 -0600