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June 2, 2023

Masking changes at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

*Updated June 1, 2023*

Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton no longer require patients and their families, and visitors to wear masks at hospital sites. However, everyone is encouraged to wear a mask while in emergency departments and urgent care centres. Patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms will be required to wear a mask.

Additionally, healthcare workers will use a tool called Point-of-Care Risk Assessment (PCRA) to assess what personal protective equipment (PPE) they need when interacting with patients. Staff and physicians will consider each individual scenario, including the patient, environment and circumstances to assess what PPE is required for that situation. For example, if a patient is coughing or experiencing respiratory symptoms, healthcare workers will wear a mask and eye protection when providing care.

At Hamilton Health Sciences, mandatory universal masking remains in place in dedicated areas on the bone marrow transplant unit at our Juravinski Hospital.

This change is in line with Public Health Ontario guidance supported by the regional COVID-19 Subject Matter Experts (SME) committee and is also in line with the plans of other Southwestern Ontario hospitals.

Masks will continue to be available at all hospital facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be supported in their decision to do so.

Like all COVID-19 policies and practices, the need for universal masking will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 and will be revisited if needed. All decisions will continue to be based on provincial guidance/direction and informed by subject matter experts.