Surgical Masks for Tourist Industry Workers?

HONOLULU, OAHU (Ben Caxton) — Hotel unions on Hawai`i are the latest to ask employers to allow workers to wear surgical masks for their protection from the coronavirus outbreak sweeping China. So far no confirmed cases have been received on the islands although health officials have quarantined and are monitoring 26 who have been in China over the last two weeks. Union representatives say they do not expect much opposition from hotels in granting the request. Similar measures were taken during the deadly SARS and H1N1 outbreaks in the past. A similar proposal to allow Hawai`ian airline flight attendants to wear masks was turned down by the company noting that surgical masks are not effective at preventing the spread of the disease.

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