HEALTHCARE COVID-19 Mask Mandates for Patients and Staff of Healthcare Facilities

Mask Mandates for Patients and Staff of Healthcare Facilities

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As of July 19th, 2021 Arizona Department of Health Services confirms the following COVID-19 cases: (This is a rapidly-evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily.)

  • Reported for the State of Arizona today – 1,034 new cases and 0 new deaths – 9.7% Total Percent Positive. 
  • 569,899 individuals in Maricopa County – Increase of 2,323
  • 20, 189 individuals Yavapai County – Increase of 164
  • 27 individuals in Yarnell (85362) – No Change
  • 51 individuals in Congress (85332) – No Change
  • 116 individuals in Morristown (85342) – Increase of 1
  • 803 individuals in Wickenburg (85390) – Increase of 3
  • 113 individuals in Aguila (85320) – No Change
  • 593 individuals in Wittmann (85361) – Increase of 1

Changes occurred between July 16th and July 19th.

As COVID-19 case numbers start to drop nationwide, there’s a tendency to want to ease up on the precautions taken over the last 15 months. But regulators are continuing to insist on the wearing of masks in healthcare facilities. The top three reasons to continue to require patients, staff, visitors, and vendors to wear masks:

  1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) encourages you to—the federal agency has said hospitals and other providers should follow CDC guidelines, which as of mid-June continued to be to require masks.
  2. CMS “requests” that you do—a hospital in west Texas eased up its mask requirements as the state opened up earlier in June and, according to a news report, then reinstated its policy “at the request of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during an on-site visit.”
  3. CMS will cite you if you don’t, especially if you have mask requirements in your current hospital policy.

Lastly, COVID-19 variants continue to cause concern. According to the CDC’s online page on variants, updated as of June 15, 2021, there are multiple variants, with six identified as “notable.” Experts have said one, known as the Delta variant, could create a new patient surge. The World Health Organization said June 16 that the variant was in 80 countries worldwide and responsible for 10% of the new cases and it is continuing to mutate.

Healthcare takes directives from evidence based Healthcare Regulating Bodies, like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); National Institute for Health (NIH); Arizona Department of Health Services (AzDHS) and the Maricopa County Health Department.

Governor Ducey’s Executive Orders have allowed public businesses and restaurants the option to decide if they want their customers to wear a mask – the business owner’s decision can include a stipulation based on a person’s immunization status.

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