While the number of New Hampshire residents who are vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rise and active cases continues to fall, people are being asked to remain vigilant in protecting the most vulnerable by wearing masks at all times when in hospitals and health care facilities.
Federal regulatory requirements from both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that health care settings must require masks be worn by both visitors and staff so that they can ensure the safety of their patients, employees and visitors. Hospitals and health systems across the state are following these necessary protocols as required as part of their prevention efforts to mitigate any exposure to COVID-19.
“Our actions are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and we must all remain vigilant and continue taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Steve Ahnen, president of the NH Hospital Association. “If you have loved ones that you are visiting in a health care setting, or if you need to seek care yourself, hospitals and health systems across the state will continue to ensure the safest environment possible for patients, visitors, and staff by requiring masks.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have continued to highlight the efficacy of wearing masks in slowing the community transmission of COVID-19, in conjunction with other prevention measures that we have been following, such as avoiding large crowds, staying six feet apart from anyone outside your household, practicing frequent handwashing and getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We know these measures are proven to reduce the risk of community transmission and encourage all to continue following these protocols.
Wearing masks is one the most effective tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the federal regulations requiring them within healthcare settings ensures that the safety of both patients and visitors remains the top priority.
“We all want to get back to doing the things we‘ve missed out on over the past year, but we need to continue to protect and provide the safest care possible to those we love, so please follow the directions given to you when you enter any hospital or health care setting, which will include mask wearing” said Ahnen.