South Shore Health Announces Masks Will Be Optional
Coinciding with the end of the federal and Massachusetts COVID-19 public health emergency, South Shore Health will join other healthcare organizations across Massachusetts in lifting the universal mask mandate and be mask optional as of Friday, May 12, 2023.
Having taken into consideration the expertise of our infectious disease and other clinical leaders, guidance from state officials, as well as public health experts nationally, we have decided to lift masking requirements at all of our locations.
We are confident at this time that our decision is a safe one. Colleagues and patients can still choose to mask going forward and we will respect those individual decisions.
Throughout the pandemic, widespread use of universal masking was part of a multi-pronged approach for infection control and prevention.
Over the past three years, we have made immense progress in the fight against COVID-19, and the time has come to manage this disease more closely to how we manage other endemic respiratory viruses.
Masking policies, in general, will remain an important part of our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) infection prevention strategy.
Other health and safety protocols such as proper hand hygiene, testing, treatments, cough etiquette, spacing and staying home when sick will remain part of our standard response to managing infectious diseases.
Masks, eyewear, and other protective equipment will be required in certain settings, similar to policies that existed prior to the pandemic.
We have many systems in place to monitor infections and to ensure that we maintain a safe environment.
In the event of a future pandemic or significant localized outbreak, we may need to return to more restrictive masking requirements.
To learn more about masks at South Shore Health, read our FAQs.