OHA to lift masking requirements in health care settings
On Monday, April 3, Oregon Health Authority will lift its masking requirements for all health care settings.
Lifting the mandate means workers, patients and visitors no longer will be required to wear a mask in hospitals, medical offices, outpatient facilities, urgent care clinics and more.
What this means for Asante employees and facilities
In the next few weeks, Asante’s Quality Department will review our current masking policies and make appropriate updates for our organization. However, even with the state’s decision to lift its mandate, Asante still has the right to require masking in certain settings. Once our policies are finalized, Asante will share the information broadly across the organization and publicly with patients and the community.
Why the change?
The agency’s announcement comes as fewer people are being hospitalized for respiratory infections, influenza and COVID-19.
Oregon Health Authority reports overall decreases in the three respiratory pathogens that triggered a surge in visits to emergency departments last fall.
Currently across the state, COVID-19 test positivity is at 10% and is expected to continue dropping; influenza test positivity is at 1.2%; and RSV test positivity is at 1.6%.
Some health care settings may continue to require masks even after the requirement is lifted, as masks remain an effective way to reduce transmission of respiratory viruses.
It’s recommended that people who are sick should wear masks, especially if they are at higher risk for severe disease or live with someone who is at higher risk. Additionally, people are strongly encouraged to stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters to protect themselves, their families and communities.
Changes to the OHA masking requirement have no effect on state or federal vaccine mandates.
If you have a question, please contact the author or relevant department directly.