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Auburn Community Hospital resumes mask mandate as new COVID strain raises concerns

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Amid concerns surrounding the emerging Eris COVID-19 variant, Auburn Community Hospital is reinstating its mask requirement, reversing its decision from just a month ago. This move echoes a similar mandate issued by Syracuse’s Upstate Hospital on August 17.

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Effective Saturday, Aug. 19, Auburn Community Hospital, along with associated AMMS Local Physician Practices and Finger Lakes Center for Living, will necessitate masks in all clinical zones. These zones encompass areas where patients are present, from waiting rooms to treatment areas. While non-clinical spaces don’t demand masking, the hospital has issued a strong recommendation in favor.

Additional protocols include mandatory masks in all zones where patient interactions occur, including hallways and the cafeteria. COVID-19 positive patients will have visitor restrictions, permitting only one visitor who must be fully garbed in PPE. The hospital emphasizes the collective responsibility to adhere to mask guidelines, especially in areas where patients are present. Employees who tested positive between days 6-10 post-infection or display unrelated respiratory symptoms are also obligated to mask up in all areas. As the situation evolves, Auburn Community Hospital’s Quality and Infection Prevention team will be on the lookout for potential COVID-19 surges, ready to tweak protocols as necessary.