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Penn State Health, Penn State College of Medicine lift most masking requirements April 24

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine will lift most masking requirements for employees, students, patients and visitors due to sustained low rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Beginning Monday, April 24, employee masking will become optional across most of the health system. Masks will still be required for employees working in certain patient care areas, including:

  • Pediatric and adult hematology and oncology units
  • Hemodialysis areas
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Units
  • Where advised, given specific patient care protocols, such as physician-ordered “droplet precautions.”

More specific information and other specified areas are outlined in the revised masking guidance.

Additionally, if an outpatient or inpatient is voluntarily masked, staff are asked to wear a mask out of respect when within six feet of the patient. And any employee with runny nose, sore throat or cough (even if possibly due to allergies) should wear a mask.

Also effective April 24, masks will be optional for patients and visitors in most areas. However, they should wear masks in the following areas:

  • Nonprivate Emergency Department areas
  • Hemodialysis Unit
  • Pediatric and adult hematology and oncology units
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Units
  • Any patient care facility, including hospitals and Medical Group practices, if the patient or visitor has runny nose, sore throat or cough

If outbreaks of COVID-19 are identified among inpatients or if COVID-19 increases again to high levels within Central PA as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Community Transmission data, Penn State Health may reinstitute universal masking protocols as applicable to the situation.

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