FAQ About New Mask Guidelines
Face masks are still required for all individuals (including visitors), regardless of vaccination status, in any location where you may come across or interact with a patient or patient family. If there’s any chance of this happening, you must keep your mask on.
This includes common spaces such as Camelot Court, Starbucks, retail spaces, waiting areas, etc.
As a reminder, nothing changes at Camelot Court. Due to the likeliness of patient and family interaction, you are still required to wear your masks while walking into Camelot Court and practice social distancing while eating. For the protection of our patients and their families, we ask that you continue follow these guidelines while in Camelot Court:
- 6 feet separation of employees while eating or drinking.
- Employees eat alone at a table.
- Do NOT sit at a booth. These are reserved for patient families only. Please let any of your students on campus know they should not be sitting at a booth as well.
As COVID-19 positivity drop to single digits in our local counties, effective Monday, March 14, Cook Children’s is making the following changes in our mask policy. Please see the guidance below.
Taking Off The Mask:
ALL Fully-Vaccinated Employees, who are symptom free and without recent COVID-19 exposure, can now take their masks off while inside any Cook Children’s space where patients and families are not allowed.
When should I wear my mask?:
Those Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated: We ask that you wear an FDA-approved surgical mask at all times (unless eating or drinking). This is a change from previous guidance, where non-vaccinated employees were required to wear an N-95 mask at all times.
For All Employees: Face masks are still required for all individuals (including visitors), regardless of vaccination status, in any location where you may come across or interact with a patient or patient family. If there’s any chance of this happening, you must keep your mask on.
When do I wear an N-95 mask?
Please continue to wear your N-95 masks in any required situations such as an aerosol-generated procedure or when a patient is suspected or tests positive for a disease where a mask is required (COVID-19, TB, etc.)
Will exempt employees continue to require weekly testing?
At this time, we will continue to require weekly testing. We will look at our COVID infection rate among non-vaccinated employees in a couple of weeks and re-evaluate the situation.
What if I have had a recent COVID-19 infection or exposure?
- Masking is required for anyone with recent COVID-19 infection or exposure.
- If you have had a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19, you should mask while in any Cook Children’s location until it has been at least 10 days from the exposure.
- If you have had a recent COVID-19 infection, you should mask while in any Cook Children’s location until it has been at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms (or date of positive test, if no symptoms), even if cleared to return to work by employee health.
- If you are immunocompromised and had a recent COVID-19 infection, you should mask while in any Cook Children’s location until it has been at least 20 days from the onset of symptoms (or date of positive test, if no symptoms), even if cleared to return to work by employee health.
What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated are those who have completed two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of J&J. Booster doses are strongly encouraged. If you have received a booster, please make sure Occupational Health knows and you have supplied them with proof.
Could we return to wearing masks full time at some point in the future?
Yes. Nothing is guaranteed with the pandemic and we repeatedly have seen a rise in numbers with the introduction of a new strain. We will monitor the situation closely, with your safety and the safety of our patients and their families at the top of mind.
What if I don't feel comfortable taking off my mask?
- Anyone who prefers to continue to wear a mask at all times, for any reason, should feel free to do so.
- We ask that you continue to take care of one another and that you act on good faith with the new mask guidelines. Please be honest about your vaccination status with coworkers. Respect each other. Never harass, ridicule or bully another colleague who chooses to continue to wear a mask.
How does this impact meetings?
We ask that you sit 3 feet apart from one another. Those who are vaccinated may remove their masks during meetings. If you are not vaccinated or you feel more comfortable, please continue to wear your mask.
In one-on-one meetings, you may both take your mask off, as long as you are both fully vaccinated.
Can we go without masks outside?
Fully vaccinated employees can take their masks off outside.
What about visitors to Cook Children's?
The non-Cook Children’s employees allowed onsite must be here for a meeting or for training purposes. We ask that anyone invited to come on to Cook Children’s property is fully vaccinated.
We are not allowing any family members or friends of employees onsite to visit at this time. We must still limit the number of people on campus as much as possible.