The following is an excerpt from Becker's Hospital Review.
Health systems are weighing and making decisions for face masks to become optional for many individuals in certain spaces.
The largest U.S. airlines dropped mask requirements for domestic flights April 18, shortly after a federal judge in Florida struck down mask requirements on airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation.
Now some hospitals are easing their guidelines for masking, at least while they see low community rates of Covid-19.
Houston Methodist Hospital changed its policy April 4 to no longer require masks in some public spaces, including reception and administrative areas, hallways and cafeterias. The modification followed the hospital's assessment of Covid-19 hospitalizations, community transmission and positivity rates.
The 907-bed hospital still requires staff to wear masks while caring for patients and in waiting rooms.
"It's time to adjust with the times," Firas Zabaneh, director of system infection prevention and control for Houston Methodist, told local news station KHOU11.
"Staff burnout, nationally, has been an issue. And we felt that it is time for us to ease some of that burden on them and allow them some breathing space. Especially during this time of low transmission."
Some hospitals within Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health system are moving from universal to relaxed masking the week of April 18.
"Masks are now optional for most patients, visitors and fully vaccinated UnityPoint Health team members," the system's visitor guidance states. (Continued)
Link to full article here.
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