Advocate Health Care Ending Mask Requirements

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker lifted face covering orders for state health facilities in October.

“Masks will continue to be required in infection-based isolation, including COVID-19 positive patients, and may be applied in oncology and transplant wards,” Advocate said in a statement. The intensive care unit limits patients to her two at a time.

The relaxation of masking requirements reflects the recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 community transmission rates. Rates in Illinois have been trending downward over the past six weeks, Advocate said in a statement.

Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious diseases and prevention at Advocate Health Care, said the mask option policy applies to both visitors and staff members.

For patients with symptoms of infectious respiratory disease, staff will wear masks, and if patients request staff to wear masks, caregivers will honor the request.

Citronberg also said at a press conference this morning that policy liberalization has not been implemented at Aurora Health Care, a facility of the larger system in Wisconsin. state-level community transmission is not as low as Wisconsin.

When those fees drop enough, Citronberg said, Aurora properties will use exactly the same policies.

He said he doesn’t think the move is premature, even though health systems in other regions maintain more restrictive policies.

“We have really learned a lot from the pandemic and we plan to apply that,” Citronberg said.

Also, starting Monday, all Franciscan Alliance facilities in Indiana will become mask-optional, and the Mishawaka, Illinois-based system’s facilities in Mishawaka, Indiana will become mask-optional a week later on Monday, April 3. will be

The system said in a statement that masking would be required as part of its normal infection control process. Additionally, staff caring for COVID-positive and COVID-suspected patients must wear N95 masks.

According to the statement, patients can request Franciscan staff to wear a mask during their health care appointments.

Rush University Health System may soon follow suit.

Rush is strict about requiring universal masks to protect its employees and patients, so hospitals are likely to move away from requiring masks for staff and patients in patient-facing areas. said Brian Stein, Ph.D., chief quality officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. told Crane’s sister magazine, Modern Healthcare.

Rush’s medical center also plans to continue masking in clinical areas with more vulnerable patients, like its bone marrow transplant unit.

“We are trying to bring some normalcy back to the clinical field as COVID-19 is becoming less severe for the average person,” said Stein. “But we need to understand that if COVID-19 or another viral infection flares up, we may undo some of those universal mask mandates.”

Elsewhere, a spokesman for Northwestern Medicine said in a statement emailed Thursday that the system has not changed masking protocols at our hospital or in outpatient and doctor’s office settings. said.

“We continue to monitor infection levels in our community and are in line with CDC guidance on masking,” the statement said.

As of February 16, Northwestern University’s Visitor Policy states:

Northwestern limits most patients over the age of 18 to two.

UChicago Medicine addressed the change earlier this year. In an email to staff on Feb. 24, the system decided to make masks optional throughout the healthcare system in non-clinical buildings and areas away from patients and visitors, such as break rooms and conference rooms. said he did.

“Employees, visitors and patients should continue to wear masks for patient care and when in patient or visitor access areas such as hallways, elevators, waiting rooms, lobbies and team/nurse stations. Email from UChicago Medicine Registered Nurse Rachel Marrs, Director of Infection Prevention and Control. Dr. Emily Landon, Executive Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control. Alison Bartlett, Ph.D. is Associate Physician for Pediatric Infectious Disease Control.

“While recognizing that the epidemiology of respiratory virus threats is changing, we are committed to minimizing exposure to COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses for vulnerable patients and visitors. “This policy will ensure that our faculty and staff stay home when sick, get tested for COVID-19, and care and compassion for high-risk colleagues.” You will only succeed if you are keen to keep on.People who work within companies and consider themselves to be at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection are likely to choose to continue wearing masks in non-clinical areas. there is.”

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