As evidence supporting the use of masks to combat the spread of COVID-19 mounts, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) work force is now required to wear a cloth or medical face mask while in public or common areas SHA facilities, and while working in some shared spaces in non-clinical areas.
As of October 19, the SHA implemented a universal masking guideline for the work force in all SHA hospitals, care homes and other facilities. It enhances previous measures put in place that required the health care workforce to wear masks while providing clinical care or working within clinical spaces.
“This change in guideline is applying the key principle of protecting our most vulnerable population and ensuring we also protect each other,” notes Lesley McLean, Director of Infection Prevention and Control with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. “Our staff and physicians have had to wear masks continuously in clinical, patient-care areas, including patient and resident rooms, since April. This new guideline expands that to most areas of our facilities and allows for the use of cloth masks as source control.”
From the time they enter the doors, and continuing through all public and common areas, the health care workforce is now required to wear either a cloth or medical mask while they are inside a health-care facility in Saskatchewan. In clinical areas, a medical grade mask is required.
Staff or physicians working outside clinical care areas may remove their mask on arrival at their workstation if a two-metre physical distance from others can be reliably maintained or physical barriers are in place between workstations. However, when they leave their workstation to travel through a public or common area, they must again don a mask.
This enhanced guideline covers staff, physicians, learners, contractors, contracted individuals, volunteers, patient and family advisors and Knowledge Keepers.
This guideline does not change masking requirements for the public. Patients and families can continue to follow existing guidelines for entering SHA facilities or homes.