SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thursday marks the end of the COVID Public Health Emergency on both the state and federal level, which means some masking rules are being lifted and several healthcare groups that represent local hospitals and medical centers, are coinciding with this change.
Local healthcare groups, including Baystate Health and Trinity Health Of New England are updating their masking policy.
Under Trinity Health’s new guidance, face masks will now be optional in all inpatient units, emergency departments and ambulatory care areas within the Trinity Health of New England system, which includes Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.
There are some exceptions where masks will still be required, like for patients who test positive for COVID, and all care workers will continue to wear personal protective equipment when caring for patients who are sick.
As for Baystate Health, masks will also be optional for visitors, as well as staff, which includes in patient care areas at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, as well as at all medical practices and outpatient services. The use of masks for patients who have COVID-19 or other contagious diseases will not change.
Both Baystate Health and Trinity Health say that masking could be reinstated if there is a surge of COVID cases. 22News also reached out to Cooley Dickinson and Holyoke Medical Center, both also making mask wearing optional.