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Masking guidelines revised at LHSC and St. Joseph’s: Here’s what you need to know

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) are joining hospitals across the region in adjusting masking guidelines.

Hospital officials say the goal is to better reflect the current health and safety risks during the fall respiratory season.

Effective Wednesday, Oct. 4, LHSC and St. Joseph’s will introduce revised masking requirements. St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital is also reinstating masking in patient-care areas

“The fall respiratory season is upon us, and as we expected, it’s time for a renewed approach,” says Dr. Kevin Chan, corporate medical executive at LHSC. “Changes to our masking guidelines are aligned with recommendations through Public Health Ontario, and our regional hospital partners, to help ensure staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, visitors and our community remain protected while respiratory viruses circulate this fall and winter.”

“Updated masking guidelines, in combination with other protective measures like staying up to date on vaccinations, is part of our responsive strategy this respiratory season,” adds Dr. Michael Silverman, chair/chief, infectious diseases in London, and medical director, infection prevention and control and the Infectious Diseases Care Program at St. Joseph’s. “Protecting our patients, residents, staff and community is paramount.”

What This Means:

For patients/visitors:

LHSC recommends that you wear a mask in all clinical areas and care settings when meeting with or speaking directly to a health care worker, especially in our Emergency Departments, the London Regional Cancer Program, clinical waiting rooms, and Ambulatory Clinics.

At St. Joseph’s, we recommend all patients and visitors wear a mask in our waiting rooms, Urgent Care, inpatient and outpatient settings and when in direct contact with a health care worker.

Patients at LHSC and St. Joseph’s with a fever or respiratory symptoms are required to mask in all clinical and non-clinical settings (except if in an inpatient room or bed space and not receiving direct care with a healthcare worker).

Masks will continue to be available at all hospital entrances.

For staff/physicians:

Masking will be required for all direct patient contact in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, including waiting rooms and in LHSC’s Emergency Department and St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre.

Masks are recommended but will not be required in common spaces including team stations, hallways, break spaces, cafeterias, office spaces, auditoriums, communication desks, and/or laboratories.

Masks will continue to be available at all entrances and in care settings.


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