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Markham Stouffville Hospital lifts masking requirement

Masks are no longer required at Oak Valley Health, which includes Markham Stouffville Hospital, Uxbridge Hospital and the Reactivation Care Centre.

Still, Oak Valley Health remains a mask-friendly environment, it reminds. 

“While Oak Valley Health may be lifting masking requirements, some of our colleagues and community members may choose to remain masked,” says Director of Infection Prevention and Control Michelle Samm. “It is our duty to support those individual decisions and ensure we are kind, considerate and respectful to one other.”

The change, effective May 6, follows consultation with key internal stakeholders, including Infection Prevention and Control, Occupational Health and Safety, and Public Health guidance.

Mask dispensers will remain at the entrances of each hospital site. Patients experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms are asked to put on a mask upon entry to the hospital to prevent the spread of transmission. Visitors are asked to not go to the hospital if they’re feeling unwell or are showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. Oak Valley Health also encourages visitors to practise good hand hygiene and to keep their vaccinations up to date.

In keeping with recommended infection prevention and control practices prior to the pandemic, masking and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be required in specific cases to prevent the spread of illness, such as during an outbreak in a specific area of the hospital or when a patient’s care team deems it necessary to prevent the patient from either acquiring or spreading a virus to others at risk of illness.

Oak Valley Health will re-evaluate its masking policy at the start of respiratory virus season next fall and reports it will likely return to masking in clinical areas during flu season.

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