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COVID-19 is ebbing, but it’s not over

The virus continues to circulate and create new variants. Asante still requires safety measures.

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After two years of working through a grinding pandemic, things are looking up. Asante visitor restrictions will be lifted in accordance with CMS guidelines on April 1, and entrance screenings will be halted accordingly. Statewide, masks are no longer required in most indoor spaces.

But before we celebrate, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is not over. We still owe it to our patients and the broader community to help prevent the spread of the disease. For this reason, many of Asante’s safety rules still apply.

Masks

All who enter an Asante facility — including business offices and areas that do not involve patient care — must wear an appropriate face covering.

This means no buffs or gaiters — neck scarves that pull up to cover the nose and mouth — as substitutes.

Proper masks:

  • Have at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face with no gaps.
  • Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Remember that while all staff members are fully vaccinated, visitors entering the facilities to see patients may not be.

Additionally, eye protection must be cleaned if it is soiled or after use in special or droplet precautions.

Vaccination

As you know, all employees, providers, volunteers, students and contractors must be vaccinated to work on-site. Vaccination has proven to be the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants. Not only does immunization reduce transmission, it lowers the risk of hospitalization and death. Read more on the efficacy of vaccines.

In addition, both state and federal vaccination mandates are still in effect for health care workers and are being enforced. Agencies are auditing health care organizations, including Asante, for compliance with the mandate.

Meetings and gatherings

Bedside caregivers are required to be on-site, but there are steps we can take to minimize exposure to potential breakthrough infections when attending work meetings:

  • All participants should comply with a six-foot minimum physical distance.
  • Attendance should not exceed the maximum capacity for the conference room, which should be posted on the door.
  • Meeting participants must disinfect the conference room. Supplies, including spray and wipes, should be in each room for this purpose.
  • No food or drink should be consumed during meetings.
  • Meetings and gatherings taking place outside may be appropriate without masking, as long as appropriate physical distancing is maintained. All other restrictions apply.

There will be a time when things can return to normal. As our chief medical officer, Jamie Grebosky, MD, often says: “All pandemics end.” Until then, we can do our part to end COVID-19 by preventing its spread. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for our patients and our community.

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