NL Health Services Provides Update on Masking Requirements
Posted: February 1, 2024
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services advises the public that masking is temporarily required in all clinical areas in hospitals and health-care facilities, including congregate living and long-term care facilities, effective Monday, February 5, 2024 at 8:00 a.m. Updated masking requirements in clinical areas apply to visitors/support persons, clients, patients (outpatient clinics and emergency departments) and health-care workers.
With health-care facilities seeing an increase in respiratory illness, these updated masking requirements are to help reduce the spread of infection. NL Health Services will continue to monitor epidemiology, hospitalizations and outbreaks and masking guidelines will be re-evaluated March 31, 2024.
The public is also reminded that self-screening for COVID-19/respiratory illness remains in effect and physical distancing is encouraged to the greatest extent possible.
- Visitors/support persons, clients and patients (outpatient clinics and emergency departments) are required to wear a well-fitted medical mask in all clinical areas, including in waiting areas for health-care services/appointments, clinical care/treatment areas and while visiting patients and long-term care residents. These requirements do not apply to patients admitted to hospital or long-term care residents.
- Reminder: Individuals who are seeking or receiving health-care services who are symptomatic (i.e. experiencing any one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms) are required to wear a mask upon entry and at all times while inside the health-care facility. Visitors/support persons who are feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents or accompany others to appointments.
- Masks are available at health-care facilities across the province. Individuals can wear their own medical mask or a mask provided at the health-care facility. Cloth masks and masks with exhalation valves are not permitted.
Self-screening for COVID-19/respiratory illness
- Visitors/support persons should not visit a health-care facility if they feel ill or are experiencing COVID-19, flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Visitors/support persons are directed to follow signage at health-care facilities and meet the self-screening requirements before proceeding inside the health-care facility. In addition, visitors/support persons can complete self-screening prior to arrival at the facility by visiting the webpage for your zone: Central, Eastern, Labrador-Grenfell and Western.
NL Health Services thanks the public for their co-operation. These precautions are designed to help keep patients, clients, long-term care residents, visitors, staff and physicians safe and help in the prevention and spread of infection.