On April 3, the Washington State Department of Health will end the statewide requirement for universal masking in healthcare facilities. In line with most healthcare facilities across the Puget Sound region, Valley Medical Center and Valley’s Clinic Network will still require that staff, patients and visitors wear medical-grade masks in patient care spaces.
|Medical-grade mask required||-When entering Valley Medical Center hospital, departments, clinics, including waiting rooms and lobbies|
-Patients using Valley fitness centers must continue to mask
|Masks strongly recommended for patients & visitors, but not required||-In public areas that are not patient care areas, including cafeterias, hallways and elevators|
-Non-patient fitness center members may remove masks
Why will masks still be required in most areas at Valley Medical Center and Clinic Network?
While the state is not requiring masking in healthcare facilities, most major healthcare organizations across the Puget Sound region are aligned in continuing to require masks in patient care settings. The Northwest Healthcare Response Network released a statement, stating, “…our organizations will continue to require masking in patient care areas and strongly recommend or require in public spaces.” The statement was shared and supported by Public Health – Seattle & King County, which “continues to recommend masks for patients, healthcare providers, and visitors in healthcare settings.”
- Our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients and employees.
- Valley Medical Center and Valley’s Clinic Network takes care of high-risk patients who may not have much immunity. They need protection both in their rooms and as they come and go from our facilities.
- Receiving healthcare is essential (not optional) for our patients, and they deserve to be cared for in a safe environment.
- COVID is still circulating in our community at substantial levels, and is a risk to many who seek care at our hospital and clinics.
- Healthcare workers also deserve to work in the safest environment possible, and masking will allow us to be confident in our ability to care for our patients in the safest way possible.
- Please respect people’s choices in wearing or not wearing masks, so far as they align with our current policy.
We are monitoring local guidelines and recommendations and COVID transmission levels in our community and will continue to evaluate our policies around masking in the future.
For the most up-to-date information on our masking requirements and visitor policy, visit our website.