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Asante to end source-control masking

The change follows improvements in people hospitalized with respiratory infections and test positivity.


On April 1, 2020, Asante required masking in all our locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, three years later — nearly to the day — Asante will end its requirement for source-control masking within all our medical facilities on Monday, April 3.

Asante’s decision follows the Oregon Health Authority’s announcement to end masking requirements for all health care settings. Additionally, OSHA has stated it will align its guidelines with OHA recommendations.

Ending the masking mandate means our employees (including our unvaccinated staff with an approved religious or medical exception), affiliated providers, patients, visitors, volunteers, students, contractors and vendors no longer will be required to wear a mask in our hospitals, medical offices, outpatient facilities and immediate care clinic.

“There is no doubt this news will elicit a mix of emotions from our workforce, from elation to skepticism and possibly frustration,” said Holly Nickerson, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety at Asante. “As we work through these changes, we’ll be providing supportive language to help our teams answer questions from patients, including Words That Work.”

While the Asante Quality team reviews current masking policies to make appropriate updates, there may be some areas within our hospitals and clinics where masking is required beyond April 3.

“We’re taking a look at all areas of care to make sure best practices are followed for quality and patient safety,” Nickerson said. “Additionally, some employees and patients may choose to continue to wear a mask as a personal preference.”

As COVID-19 appears to be shifting from pandemic to endemic, Asante will treat the virus as it does influenza and implement restrictions, including masking, whenever cases reach a critical threshold. We still support masking, hand hygiene and vaccination to prevent the spread of illness.

As a reminder, changes to the masking requirement have no impact on state or federal vaccine mandates for COVID-19, which remain in effect.

If you have questions or concerns, please email [email protected]. Your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate person for a response.

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