Masking guidelines reinstated for Montreal hospital health-care workers

Click to play video: 'Mandatory masking guidelines return at the MUHC'
Mandatory masking guidelines return at the MUHC
With cases of COVID-19 and respiratory infections on the rise, face mask guidelines have been reinstated at MUHC hospitals. Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines has the story – Sep 15, 2023

Face masking guidelines have been reinstated for medical health officials who work in McGill University Health Centre facilities.

The masking guidelines have been re-established due to an “important rise in the number of respiratory infections including COVID-19,” a statement on the hospital’s website reads.

The protocol was announced Thursday and applies to all healthcare workers who interact with patients and employees in certain areas.

“We now require, healthcare workers to wear masks when providing direct care to patients and when interacting with other healthcare workers while present in clinical care areas,” the statement reads.

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Staff are not required to wear face masks when in hallways or common areas such as the cafeteria.

While not mandatory for patients and visitors, officials say they are highly recommended.

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Masks will be available at the main entrances of all hospitals and clinical care areas.

“The point of all these measures is not to be reactive but proactive, to prevent people from getting sick,” epidemiologist Christopher Labos said.

With fall and flu season around the corner, Labos said this protocol is good practice — especially with the fragility of the health-care system and its limited staff.

“There are a lot of people in hospitals already. The health-care system is stretched quite a bit. Anything we can do to prevent illness helps and wearing a mask in a high-risk situation like this is frankly a fairly small intervention that has a major benefit.”

According to the latest figures taken Sept. 3 to 9, there are 1,009 hospitalizations in Quebec, including 18 patients currently in intensive care.

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