Bluewater Health makes changes to masking measures

Bluewater Health has lifted social distancing measures and amended its mask-wearing rules.

For the past three years, staff have been required to wear masks in all areas of the hospital for most of their shifts, but now, staff are only required to wear masks when interacting with patients.

Effective immediately, visitors to outpatient clinics and public spaces will also be able to choose whether to wear a mask, however, the use of a mask is strongly recommended when visiting patients on wards.

Masks will remain mandatory in high-risk areas, such as emergency room waiting areas or units with COVID-19 outbreaks.

“We recognize that COVID-19 is here to stay,” Chief of Staff Dr. Michelle Haddad said in a statement. “Incidence rates will fluctuate, but experts say there is a risk of background infection over the longer term. We must plan for a gradual and safe return to normal while we continue to focus on reducing the Risk to vulnerable patients. We need to get through the acute phase of the pandemic.”

Hospital-issued masks will still be available at all entrances. Staff and visitors may choose to wear masks at any time.

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