Updated masking requirements in effect as of May 11

Note: Providence Home and Community Care settings may have different masking requirements. The same is true for Center for Medically Fragile Children. Watch each ministry’s communications for more information.

PROVIDENCE OREGON – With the federal public health emergency for COVID ending May 11, CDC guidance for universal masking has been updated.

For most areas, the following general guidelines for universal masking are now in effect.

Caregivers: Universal masking is highly recommended when encountering a patient (for example, when providing direct patient care, entering a patient's room or interacting with a patient during therapy or treatment.)

Patients: Masking is highly recommended when someone enters the patient’s room or is providing care, as well as whenever the patient is out of their room, such as when they are seated in a waiting area. 

Visitors: Masking is highly recommended for those entering a patient’s room, during interactions with caregivers, and in waiting areas. 

Masking will continue to be required for caregivers, patients and visitors if

  • They are in specific areas of our facilities with vulnerable patients. Ministry leaders may continue to require masking to protect certain vulnerable populations within a facility. 
  • They are having respiratory symptoms, are suspected to have COVID, or until 10 days after testing positive or developing symptoms for COVID.
  • They will encounter someone who has respiratory symptoms and to protect themselves from exposures to blood or body fluids, according to standard and transmission-based precautions.
  • An outbreak or cluster of infections is occurring on a unit or department among patients or caregivers.

If a patient asks you to wear a mask, please do so.

Note: We may need to re-institute universal masking by service area when we have high levels of respiratory viruses circulating in the community (for example, influenza or COVID).

Other recommended infection protection strategies will continue 

  • Voluntary use of masks for caregivers in public spaces and conference rooms.
  • Infectious risk screening of patients in the electronic health record on admission, and regular symptom monitoring. 
  • Signs that will help visitors and caregivers self-screen for symptoms. 
  • Requirement that caregivers stay home if ill. Visitors will also be asked to return home if they are ill.
  • Requirement to use standard precautions and wear PPE if you anticipate exposure (including splash, splatter, exposure to aerosolized particles). 

Remember that ministry leaders may require masking to protect certain vulnerable populations within your facility. 

While the risks associated with COVID may continue to recede, we must be mindful of other infectious diseases circulating in the community and the need to protect our vulnerable populations to the degree possible. 

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