Submitted by Providence
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities have put patient and healthcare worker safety first and implemented tools to decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission in patient care settings. One of the most important interventions for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in clinical care spaces has been universal source control through masking. Since the spring of 2020, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers and clinics have reduced the risk from respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19, by requiring patients, healthcare workers and visitors in our facilities to mask.
On April 3, all Providence Swedish facilities, along with other healthcare organizations in the state of Washington, will continue to enforce masking to protect our patients, our caregivers, and the entire community (this includes those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine or recovered from COVID-19). The decision has also been endorsed by Thurston County Health Officer Dimyana Abdelmalek, MD (see attached memo).
While we understand the Washington State Department of Health on April 3 will remove the masking requirement in health care, long-term care, and other facilities for people 5 and older, our Puget Sound communities continue to demonstrate substantial COVID-19 case rates, and we continue to see patients who have serious health vulnerabilities. When transmission levels are high, the CDC continues to recommend masking, and state guidelines still recommend masks for patients, health care providers and visitors.
See the entire Providence Swedish South Puget Sound visitation guidelines at Providence Coronavirus website.