Recently Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) convened a team to review the latest recommendations around healthcare facility masking guidelines. This task force used evidence-based research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Arizona Department of Health, Maricopa County Health Department, and in conjunction with our community data, to create a list of recommendations that was forwarded to, and supported by, Senior Leadership around Masking Criteria for WCH and its Clinics.
Beginning Friday October 7, 2022 the following guidelines become effective:
1. Masks will no longer be routinely required to be worn within WCH and its clinics
2. Individuals who are presenting with respiratory illness please wear a mask as a method of source control for the safety of the patient, staff and visitors.
3. Direct Care staff at the hospital, clinics and urgent care who are direct care staff working with patients who have respiratory symptoms will wear the proper PPE (personal protection equipment). For their safety and the safety of the patient.
4. Staff, patients and visitors who prefer to wear a mask while in the hospital or clinic environments may do so and masks would be made available to them at the registration desks.
5. Due to the nature and unpredictability of infectious disease transmission, the above requirements are subject to change should we at the hospital, in the community, at the county or state level experience any infectious disease clusters, outbreaks, or pandemic declarations related to one or more infectious disease.
6. If WCH receives guidance from the CDC, State or County Health Departments identifying infectious disease numbers increasing to reach outbreak or pandemic activity OR WCH has an internal surge of viral or bacterial illness, in addition to masking requirements, Restricted Visitation Guidelines may be implemented which would allow patients to have one visitor at a time and for shortened periods of time. This guidance will apply to the Emergency Department, Acute Care, Surgery, Urgent Care and Clinic Facilities.
WCH thanks everyone for their patience and compliance with our masking requirements, which went into place in 2019. Please know that the simple process of wearing a mask, coupled with hand hygiene and spatial separation was successful in keeping exposures and illnesses down.