Masking to Remain Mandatory in Emergency Departments at HPHA
June 05, 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, June 5, 2023 masking will be welcomed, but no longer required in many clinical areas of the hospital. The exception to this is any of HPHA’s Emergency Departments where masking will be required. Masking will also be required throughout the hospital sites for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, fever and sore throat, and for those who are accompanying or visiting a patient with these symptoms. Hospital-provided medical grade masks will continue to be provided with masking stations set up throughout HPHA hospital sites, not just at entrances. Anyone entering the hospital is welcome to wear a mask.
“Masks continue to be a key tool for infection prevention and control,” says Erica Jensen, Manager Quality, Patient Safety and Infection Control. “We encourage anyone who wishes to wear a mask to do so to help protect themselves and their loved ones.”
What This Means for Our Patients, Families/Caregivers and Visitors
Masking is Required
- If you are a patient or caregiver in the Emergency Department
- You have symptoms of a respiratory infection (such as cough, fever, sore throat)
- You are caring for someone with a respiratory infection
You may want to wear a mask if:
- You have an underlying medical condition, are immunocompromised or are an older adult
- Your close contacts are more likely to get very sick if they contract COVID-19
- You are in a crowded space
- You had a high-risk exposure and may become sick
“Our staff and physicians in the Emergency Department will be required to wear masks when providing care to patients,” adds Jensen. “Staff and physicians will also continue to wear masks when providing care to patients in isolation precautions or with symptoms of respiratory illness. And of course, staff and physicians will be required to wear a mask if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness.”
It is also important to note that Universal Masking may be reintroduced based on disease activity, during respiratory season and for outbreak management.