The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recently relaxed their pandemic guidelines for the use of face masks in health care settings. This change was made in response to the wide availability of vaccines, treatments and other preventive tools meant to provide continued protection for patients and health care workers.
The updated CDC guidance does not override the Oregon Health Authority requirement that staff and patients must wear face masks in health care facilities. Health care providers in Oregon are still required to have masking policies in place at this time.
Community transmission of coronavirus remains in the CDCs “substantial” and “high” categories in almost all of Oregon and hospital capacity throughout the state is still strained. The OHA requirement for face masks in health care facilities remains in place until further notice regardless of the current COVID-19 Transmission Level or Community Level.
“While many of us have returned to our pre-pandemic activities, COVID-19 infection remains a threat to many vulnerable patients who require care in our facilities,” said Adam Brady, MD, of Samaritan Infectious Disease. “Because transmission of COVID-19 is ongoing, precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, like wearing a well-fitting mask, are important to help to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in health care settings.”
At Samaritan facilities, if a patient or visitor does not have a well-fitting medical-grade face mask, one will be provided. People who are visiting patients are also reminded that they should avoid coming to health care settings if they are sick, even if they tested negative for COVID-19.
For more information, visit samhealth.org/Coronavirus.