Hospitals in Hamilton will no longer require masks for visitors and patients beginning Wednesday, April 19th.
A release from Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton explains that masks will still be encouraged, but no longer required, for patients and their families while on-site at a hospital in their network.
Patients with respiratory symptoms or a fever will still be required to wear a mask, and healthcare workers will continue to wear mask during patient care interactions.
The news follows Public Health Ontario’s latest masking guidelines for hospitals, updated due to the fact that Ontario is considered to be in a “non-high risk period.”
Beginning Wednesday, masks will be encouraged but no longer required to be worn by patients and visitors at our and @stjoeshamilton hospitals. We still ask that you stay home if you’re feeling unwell. Details at https://t.co/QgGsNFwR3t #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/JcnpsVst4B— Hamilton Health Sciences (@HamHealthSci) April 17, 2023
“Like all COVID-19 policies and practices, the need for universal masking will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 and will be revisited if needed,” reads the release from Hamilton Health Sciences.
“All decisions will continue to be based on provincial guidance/direction and informed by subject matter experts.”
The announcement has drawn backlash on social media, with individuals expressing that mask-wearing should still be universally required in hospitals as a high-risk environment.
Read the full release here.