Many of you are asking about the current requirements for masks.
There has been a recent change to the NY HERO act which gives your hospital flexibility to change your HERO Act safety plan to reduce or eliminate the requirement to wear masks.
While the original NYS HERO Act safety-plan template required masking, the latest template has new working that provides more flexibility.
The new face covering section of the NYS HERO Act template safety plan is as follows:
"Employees will wear appropriate face coverings in accordance with guidance from State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as applicable.
Consistent with the guidance from the State Department of Health, if indoor areas do not have a mask or vaccine requirement as a condition of entry, appropriate face coverings are recommended, but not required. It is also recommended that face coverings be worn by unvaccinated individuals, including those with medical exemptions, in accordance with federal CDC guidance.
New York State and the State Department of Health continue to strongly recommend face coverings in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required."
The Department of Health no longer mandates masks for businesses.
If you want to continue to have masks worn at your hospital it can be justified to clients based on the risk of closure. You can explain that there is no spare capacity to treat your patients if you closed temporarily, and therefore you are continuing to take precautionary measures, in accordance with the recommendations of the NY Department of Health.