Sep 01, 2023

UMass Memorial Health reinstates masking for staff

The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.

Citing "dramatic" recent increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among employees over the past two weeks, UMass Memorial Health is reinstating a mask mandate for staff members whenever they interact with patients.

The policy requires caregivers to wear masks in clinical areas, effective immediately. It does not require masking in common areas, like a cafeteria, but the practice is being "strongly encouraged" at this time.

Patients and visitors will also be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.

"Should we continue to see increased transmission rates, we will need to further expand the mask requirement to include anyone who enters the building," officials wrote in a memo to caregivers. "We will be following viral trends closely and will re-evaluate this mandate in 4 weeks’ time, unless worsening conditions dictate otherwise."

As of Thursday afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported there were 2,048 cases of COVID-19 confirmed during the prior seven days, 300 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 32 patients being treated in intensive care units across the state. The seven-day average of new cases dipped below 100 during July.