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Masking back at some Horizon hospital facilities in New Brunswick

Horizon Health Network is bringing back masking in certain situations in New Brunswick hospitals.

In a news release Tuesday, Horizon said it was taking precautions to reduce transmissions within hospital facilities as respiratory viruses are expected to increase.

As of Wednesday, a medical-grade face mask will be required in regional hospitals if it has two or more outbreak units. For community hospitals, the masking provision will be in effect if one or more units has an outbreak.

The masking requirement will apply to:

  • all staff
  • patients
  • volunteers
  • visitors
  • designated support persons

Masking will not be required in public areas such as lobbies or cafeterias, but there will be masks available for anyone who wants to wear one.

Horizon requires patients, visitors and designated support persons to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering a facility.

“Social visitors are not permitted to visit patients in a Horizon hospital or any long-term care patient care unit that has a respiratory virus outbreak,” according to the news release.

Continuous masking will be required on outbreak units for health care workers and designated support persons.

On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said masking requirements are the responsibility of the health authority. However, Dr. Strang did say he expects a decision on masking in hospitals to made as early as this week.

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