News & Media

Masking to Remain Mandatory in Clinical Areas at HPHA Hospitals

April 24, 2023

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) has worked closely with our partners in Infection Prevention and Control to ensure patients, staff, physicians and families/caregivers are safe and protected while in our hospitals. Along with our partner hospitals throughout the South West Region, and based upon the most recent Public Health Ontario guidance, updates will be made to our Universal Masking Policy to reflect current health and safety risks.

Effective Monday, April 24, 2023 masking will be required when in any clinical area of our hospitals and recommended, but not required, in non-clinical areas. Hospital-provided medical grade masks will continue to be provided with masking stations set up throughout HPHA hospital sites, not just at entrances.

“Masks continue to be a key tool for infection prevention and control,” says Erica Jensen, Manager Quality, Patient Safety and Infection Control. “But with risks being lower right now, due to the fact that the vast majority of Ontarians have been either vaccinated or exposed to the virus, our masking guidelines can be relaxed slightly.”

What This Means for Our Patients, Staff, Physicians, Families/Caregivers and Visitors

Masking is Required in Clinical Areas

Masking is required in all clinical areas where patient care is provided. This includes:

  • Inpatient Units
  • Emergency Departments
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Imaging
  • Lab
  • Waiting Rooms
Masking is recommended, but not required, in Non-Clinical Areas

Masking is recommended, but not required, in public spaces and non-clinical areas. This includes:

  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Cafeterias
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Administrative Offices
“Clinical areas that require masking will be clearly marked,” adds Jensen. “If you are not sure, wear a mask. If you feel sick or have symptoms of illness, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in all areas of our hospitals. If you are family member or caregiver who is feeling unwell, it is advised that you postpone your visit with your loved one until you are feeling better.”

It is also important to note that Universal Masking may be reintroduced based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management.