Mask and Visitation Policy Updates
We want to thank all of you who have worked tirelessly to take care of our patients, their families and each other over the past three years. Throughout the pandemic, you’ve made every effort to keep everyone as safe as possible through vaccinations and by following PPE protocols. Your diligence has allowed us to make the following changes throughout the Cook Children’s Health Care System.
Effective immediately, vaccinated employees and ALL visitors are no longer required to wear masks and eye protection that was in response to the COVID pandemic. Please note, you may always wear a mask if it makes you feel more comfortable or safer.
Masks remain required in the following situations for health care providers:
- We will follow our Infection Control, Occupational Health and departmental policies regarding PPE requirements as we did before the pandemic.
- For suspected or confirmed COVID patients, N95 respirators must continue to be worn for airborne precautions and during aerosol-generating procedures.
Joint Commission and CMS still require employees who have received an exemption (religious or medical) for the COVID-19 vaccine to continue masking when they are around other employees, visitors, and/or patients. This requires an FDA approved surgical mask.
N95 Mask Fit Testing
There is no change to the current N95 fit testing requirement. If you are in a patient facing position, you must have a respirator fit test once every 12 months.
- We are lifting all COVID implemented visitor restrictions for patients and their families. Medical Center visitation will be guided by policy PS191 as it was pre-pandemic.
- While the local COVID percent positivity rate has remained low, our Command Center will continue to evaluate community spread and make changes as necessary to protect our staff and patients
- Please remember that vaccinations, including boosters, remain the best defense against infectious diseases such as COVID and the flu.
Finally, we appreciate you for your continued efforts to keep our community safe. We want to thank you for keeping our values of kindness, collaboration, imagination, generosity, respect and safety during one of the most challenging times in our system’s history.