Mandatory masks extended at hospitals
The rising number of local cases of COVID-19 has led to a mandatory requirement for face masking to be extended indefinitely at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and other hospitals in Southwestern Ontario.
STEGH President Karen Davies said, “As a system of hospitals, we have been continually assessing what we feel are responsible protections for our patients, our teams, and those visiting our hospital sites.
“The rising number of COVID-19 cases in our communities is significantly affecting our ability to staff programs and services due to increasing absences related to COVID-19.
“Currently, more staff are calling in sick with COVID (or having COVID exposures) than at any time during the pandemic. We recognize how hard this period has been for staff and physicians, many of whom have worked overtime, taken on more patients, worked short-staffed, and are experiencing pandemic fatigue.”
As a result, the hospital was seeking to maintain the highest level of health protection possible inside its buildings.
A policy requiring all new staff, volunteers and contractors at STEGH to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will also continue.