Sentara to drop mask policy

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

In response to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have termed “a significant decline in influenza activities” in the Hampton Roads region during the past week, Sentara Healthcare is lifting a policy that employees must wear medical masks, effective Saturday.

A related recommendation that visitors to Sentara’s facilities also wear masks will also be lifted, according to a press release from the hospital group.

Hospital officials stated that they “reserve the right to reinstate the masking recommendation and/or policy if flu activity increases anytime during the remainder of the 2012-2013 flu season.

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According to the release, the facilities also could amend the policy to protect especially vulnerable patients during the remainder of the flu season.