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CHCS adjusts mask policy

Community HealthCare System is adjusting its mask policy effective Tuesday, October 18, in accordance with evolving CDC and KDHE guidance.

Starting October 18, universal masking will be required if COVID-19 Community Transmission is high for two weeks in a row, but masks will no longer be required if COVID-19 Community Transmission is low, moderate, or substantial according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. Community Transmission data are updated often, but CHCS informs associates on Mondays, so masking rules at all locations will take effect each Tuesday according to transmission for the appropriate county.

Patients who visit CHCS clinics and visitors to long-term care facilities will find signage to direct them whether or not to wear a mask, and masks will be available when required. Patients or visitors who have respiratory symptoms should wear a mask. Hospital visitors will be asked to wear masks when visiting patients who have confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

Mask requirements will also be relaxed for CHCS associates when Community Transmission rates are not in the high category. Associates will also wear appropriate personal protective equipment if they are providing care to patients with respiratory symptoms, if they have been exposed to COVID-19, if they feel more comfortable wearing a mask, or if patients request that they wear a mask.

CEO Todd Willert said that although CHCS is happy to relax mask requirements, the system’s first priority is safety for associates and patients.

“We’re all tired of masks, but we want to make sure that we remain vigilant and protect our patients and associates from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses as we enter cold and flu season. We thank everyone for their respect for our policies and for helping us follow the rules from CMS and other regulatory entities,” Willert said.


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