Delaware hospital still require face masks to work or visit there.
The hospitals issued a press release Tuesday to remind the public as state school and court masking rules were lifted this week.
“While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining, protecting immunocompromised and severely ill patients from COVID-19 exposure continues to be a priority for Delaware hospitals,” said Wayne A. Smith, CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association.
“For the safety of our patients, and in line with CDC recommendations for universal masking in the health care setting, wearing a face mask continues to be required in Delaware hospitals. We encourage everyone to be kind and respectful to the health care workers enforcing these policies within the health care setting.”
The state of Delaware doesn’t mandate the masks.
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can force hospitals to do things like require employee vaccination because the centers control the cash flow of federal health care programs, in this case, hospitals can choose.
“It’s the hospital policy at the end of the day,” said Christina Crooks Bryant, the association’s public information officer, on Wednesday.
The association just did a survey of its members, and “nobody is planning to change the mask requirement at this time,” Bryant said.
Wearing a mask helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, both for those who wear the mask and those who spend time around those who are masked, the press release said.
Masking is an especially important mitigation tool since many people who have COVID-19, especially the omicron variant, do not have any symptoms and may not know they even have the virus and are spreading it to others, the press release said.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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