On April 19, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton will no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks within hospital sites. However, everyone is encouraged to wear a mask while in waiting rooms, and in emergency departments and urgent care centers.
Patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms will be required to wear a mask. Health care workers will continue to wear a mask during patient care interactions.
- Public Health Ontario masking requirements for hospitals were recently updated and at this time Ontario is considered to be in a “non-high risk period.”
- On advice from regional and hospital COVID-19 infection prevention and control experts.
- Alignment with other hospitals.
Masks will continue to be available at all hospital facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be supported in their decision to do so.
This is an interim change as a hospital transition out of a universal masking environment and as pandemic measures continue to wind down. Further details on continued next steps will be shared once available.
Like all COVID-19 policies and practices, the need for universal masking will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 and will be revisited if needed. All decisions will continue to be based on provincial guidance/direction and informed by subject matter experts.