Members of the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association are urging the public to continue to wear face masks, maintain physical distance and wash their hands to combat Covid-19, in an open letter published Monday.
“As physicians, nurses, hospital and health system leaders, researchers and public health experts, we are urging the American public to take the simple steps we know will help stop the spread of the virus,” the letter said.
These are measures the groups have been promoting since the beginning of the pandemic, and that after months of implementing these practices, rates of infection and death did begin to decline. However, since states began reopening, some of these steps – which they say are critical to progress being made – “were too quickly abandoned.”
As cases begin to dramatically increase again, hospitals are at or close to intensive care unit capacity, and personal protective equipment and testing supplies are running low, the groups say that many of the hard-won gains against Covid-19 are being erased.
They stress that reopening must not be confused with returning to normalcy.
“Doing so will escalate this crisis and result in more suffering and death,” the letter said.