No longer is the wearing of masks a requirement for visitors or personnel at the HSC. Beginning on Thursday, June 2, 2022, there will be a gradual reduction in the number of people required to wear masks in health and social care facilities. This will be done in accordance with a further de-escalation of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) measures for COVID-19.
As of this coming Thursday, it will no longer be necessary for staff members, guests, or anybody else to wear markings. For the treatment of patients and service users throughout the HSC, we will go back to using the same personal protective equipment that we used before the pandemic. Certain departments, including Community teams and the Emergency Department, will continue to conduct clinical emergency risk assessments based on the specific conditions of particular patients and service users.
This step down is in reaction to the decreasing COVID-19 numbers in both the community and hospital (we now have no patients with COVID 19 in the hospital), as well as high immunization rates and the summer climate (open windows and good ventilation). Although visitors to the health and social care establishments will no longer be needed to wear masks, this is not a necessary requirement, and visitors are free to continue wearing masks if they so want.
The most important thing for patients to remember while going to the hospital is to practice proper hand hygiene and to stay away if they have any signs of COVID-19 or any other contagious condition. Reviewing the usage of masks is something that will continue to be a priority for us, particularly towards the end of the year when we begin to see the effects of winter pressures.