Some Kingston hospitals bringing back masking protocols as flu season approaches

Kingston General Hospital. Global News

As we approach cold and flu season, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is going back to pandemic-era masking protocols within Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu.

The hospital says mandatory masking is also required in non-public-facing departments where physical distancing between staff is not possible, such as clinical laboratories, shared offices or break rooms.

“We understand that these can be challenging decisions, however, we must ensure a safe environment for every person who comes here to receive care, work, volunteer, or learn,” says Dr. Gerald Evans, Medical Director of Infection Prevention & Control at KHSC.

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According to KHSC, current regional data indicates that test positivity has risen from 10.1 per cent to 21.5 per cent in the last 10 days. However, wastewater evidence suggests that this could be a short-lived rise in COVID-19 cases.

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Currently, there is no change to the family and visitor presence policy, which allows for two visitors to a patient’s bedside at any time.

Further control measures will be re-introduced should local COVID-19 markers continue to rise in Kingston, the hospital says, adding that monitoring and escalating control measures continue to be part of KHSC’s respiratory response plan.

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