GBGH reinstates masking requirements in response to rising rates of respiratory illness

News release – Georgian Bay General Hospital

Effective Thursday, October 5, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is reinstating mandatory masking in most areas of the hospital in response to elevated rates of respiratory illness in the community, including COVID-19. This change in masking protocol applies to anyone attending the hospital, including patients, visitors, hospital staff, professional staff, and volunteers.

“We have the health and safety of patients and team members at top of mind in making this decision to return to masking in most areas of the hospital,” says Matthew Lawson, president and CEO, GBGH. “As with all major decisions at GBGH, this renewed masking mandate was based on evidence and careful consideration as we’ve seen an increase in respiratory illness within the community. I can assure you that much like other changes we’ve made in our policies throughout the pandemic, this is being done in the interests of protecting patients, staff and our community.”

Masks will once again be required in all common areas of the hospital such as corridors and waiting rooms, as well as any patient care/clinical areas. These areas include the Emergency department, diagnostic imaging, inpatient units, the intensive care unit, surgical services and obstetrics.

Visitors and patients are required to wear a hospital-provided mask upon entry to the building with the expectation the mask will be worn for the duration of their visit. Visitors and patients must wash their hands upon entering/exiting the building, and are expected to self-screen for symptoms of illness.

The reinstatement of masking does not impact GBGH’s current visitation policy which allows 24/7 family presence. Visitors will now be expected to wear a mask throughout their entire visit, including while in a patient room.

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