HCN News & Notes

Reminder: Face Masks Still Required at All Healthcare Facilities 

SPRINGFIELD – The Mass. Department of Public Health requires all people in Massachusetts, regardless of their vaccination status, to continue wearing face masks in certain settings, including all health care facilities such as Baystate Health. 

“Health care settings are spaces where patients are being treated for a variety of underlying conditions that place them at greater risk for more severe illness from COVID-19, said Dr. Armando Paez, chief, Infectious Disease Division at Baystate Health. “Our health care workers are also at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 with their close contact with patients and visitors throughout the day.”  

In order to protect the public and our caregivers, Baystate Health requires all patients and visitors to wear masks issued by staff, rather than masks brought from home, at entrances to the health system’s many caregiving facilities, including its hospitals — Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer. 

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted that masks are now optional for 90% of the country living in counties with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level, wearing a mask still remains one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its highly contagious variants. 

Paez noted that the CDC advises that if you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted. As a result, you should continue to take all precautions like those recommended for unvaccinated people and those with wakened immune systems that include wearing a well-fitted mask until advised otherwise by your doctor. 

For more information about Baystate Health and its COVID-19 policies, visit baystatehealth.org./COVID19.