Update: Mask wearing guidelines at the MUHC

The recommendation on universal masks was re-evaluated based on the recent decline of incidence of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in both the community and within the MUHC.  The MUHC Adult and Pediatric Infection Prevention and Control team recommends that universal masks are no longer required in the clinic care areas.  A mask remains required in the following situations:

Healthcare workers:

  • In presence of all patients/family members who present or develop symptoms of a respiratory infection*.
  • Following high-risk exposure to a case of COVID-19 without adequate protection for 10 days following an exposure (in this case a N95 respirator is necessary).
  • On units with a respiratory virus outbreak.  (N95 respirator is recommended for COVID-19 outbreak; a procedure mask is recommended for other respiratory virus outbreak. 
  • Any healthcare worker with infectious symptoms should not be present at work until the resolution of symptoms.  The healthcare worker needs to call 44-FLU and be tested for COVID-19 and optional for other respiratory viruses at the testing center.

For Patients:

  • In the presence of symptoms of a respiratory infection*.
  • On units with a COVID-19 or other respiratory virus outbreak when a healthcare worker is present.
  • Masks for severely immunocompromised, even in the absence of symptoms.

Visitors, caregivers, family members:

  • Visitors, caregivers, or family members should be screened for symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.  If symptoms are present, they should postpone their visit until they are fully recovered, unless essential.  If essential, the symptomatic visitor, caregiver or family member must always wear a procedure mask.

It remains essential to complete the Infectious Risk Evaluation on all patients requiring admission, ambulatory clinic visits, or for any interventional procedures.

*Fever, cough, new or worsened shortness of breath, congestion and/or runny nose, sore throat, etc.