Masks can now come off at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington

Published June 12, 2023 at 1:27 pm

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Patients and visitors at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) no longer have to wear masks, but healthcare staff may still have to cover up.

Today (June 12), the hospital announced that it is transitioning to a “mask-friendly” facility where patients and visitors without COVID-19 symptoms can choose whether or not to wear a mask although it is no longer mandatory.

However, healthcare workers will be guided by protocols based on risk assessment to determine if masks or other protective equipment are needed for the safe care of each patient.

Mask-wearing was introduced at the hospital during the rise of the pandemic as the number of people contracting COVID was at its highest. In the past few months, the hospital has been slowly relaxing the rules surrounding mask-wearing.

The hospital still requires all those coming into the facility to self-screen for COVID symptoms. Patients with symptoms must wear a mask at all times and visitors with symptoms should not enter the hospital.

Masks will still be available at all entrances for those who choose to continue to wear them.

The hospital said it has changed its masking policy following discussions with healthcare experts and considering Public Health Ontario’s guidance which indicates Ontario is in a sustained low-risk period.

“There are a number of tools to protect our healthcare workers and the community including vaccination, self-screening, staying home when sick and using PPE in patient care as required,” reads a hospital statement. “JBH will continue to monitor any changes in public health guidance and COVID-19 cases in our hospital and community. Masking requirements may change if needed to protect the health and safety of everyone who comes to and works in the hospital.”

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