CHI Health: Patient Care Workers Required to Wear Cloth Face Covering Over Surgical Mask

CHI Health is now requiring health care workers at all of its facilities where patient care takes place, including pharmacies, to wear a cloth face covering over a surgical mask. This requirement applies to all Creighton faculty, staff and students working at CHI Health facilities. Read the full message from CHI Health below:

Friday, Jan. 7, 2022

Beginning Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, health care workers in facilities where patient care takes place, including all pharmacies, will be required to wear a cloth mask over the surgical mask they are currently wearing. CHI Health Division Incident Command has made this decision in an effort to limit the transmission of COVID-19 among staff, patients and visitors.

What type of mask do I need?

● Staff will need to provide their own cloth mask, ensuring they are clean, comply with our dress code and reflect our values. They will wear this mask over a surgical mask they can get at their workplace.

● A clean/laundered cloth mask is to be used daily.

  • As an alternative, staff may provide their own KN95 mask or request an N95 mask to use as a source control.
  • Clinical care providers will continue to wear N95 mask when caring for patients in airborne or enhanced respiratory (covid-19) isolation and those under suspicion.
  • We are working to secure branded cloth masks so that we can offer them soon.
  • The above requirement excludes employees in business office buildings, like the Service Center, McAuley Fogelstrom Center, the Print and Mail Center and the Midlands Conference Center.

Where must masks be worn?

● Masks are required to be worn in all public areas, meeting rooms, break rooms and when 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks can be removed briefly to eat and drink.

● No changes are being made to visitor masking at this time.

This change was made by Division Incident Command on the recommendation of our Infectious Disease physicians and Infection Prevention clinicians. We know that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is the dominant variant in Nebraska and Iowa and is much more transmissible than previous variants. The transmissibility is comparable to other infectious agents like measles. Double masking provides better source control by creating a tighter fit and eliminating gaps to prevent greater spread of this virus, helping us all to stay healthier at work and better able to serve our patients.

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