OHA lifting mask mandate for healthcare settings

MEDFORD, Ore.– The OHA is officially lifting its mask mandate for healthcare facilities next week.

Starting Monday, the OHA is no longer requiring masks be worn in healthcare settings.

But hospitals and clinics will still be able to require masks if they choose to do so.

Asante’s Lauren Van Sickle said, “there’s kind of a sense of elation, that ‘wow, we’ve turned a page.'”

The mask mandate in Oregon health care settings statewide is set to be lifted on Monday.

Masks will no longer be required, but will become optional.

This will apply to workers, patients and visitors.

“In certain areas where we have more vulnerable patients, maybe like in the neo-natal intensive care unit, our cancer centers, our intensive care unit, that visitors maybe required to wear masks in those areas,” Van Sickle said.

Health care settings include hospitals, mobile clinics, ambulances, outpatient facilities, dental offices, urgent care centers and many more.

Its important to point out that some health care facilities may continue to require masks even after the mandate is lifted, as it is up to each private agency or office.

Dr. Mona McArdle, Valley Immediate Care’s Medical Director said, “there’ still COVID out there, and there’s still very vulnerable populations, the really young, the really old, and those that are especially high risk probably should continue to wear masks where they’re in settings of close contact or where there’s other sick people.”

McArdle said that the positivity rate for COVID tests is still around 10%.

She said it’s still important people protect themselves and their community if they get sick.

“Take care of each other and that’s sort of our community responsibility,” McArdle said, “if you’re feeling sick, stay home or wear a mask and help other people out and we got through this relatively unscathed.”

Providence said patients and visitors will have to wear a mask in areas with vulnerable patients.

It will also require patients to wear a mask when they are showing signs of a respiratory illness.

Sky Lakes Medical Center will also require patients and visitors to wear masks around vulnerable patients.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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