Special to 1812Blockhouse

Due to decreasing community spread and higher immunity in our communities, OhioHealth has ended the masking requirement for asymptomatic individuals in all hospitals, outpatient care centers and physician offices.

Masking may be required for visitors based on specific patient situations, such as when a patient is in isolation. Masks are also recommended for visitors if they are experiencing any respiratory symptoms.

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The decision to end the masking requirement is based on transmission rates of COVID-19 in the community.

Joe Gastaldo, MD, an OhioHealth infectious disease physician and vice president of clinical affairs at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, recently talked to 10TV about why masks are no longer required.

“Our COVID transmission in the community is low enough now where it is very safe to make masking optional in the hospital,” he said in the interview.

However, masks will still be available for those who wish to wear them.

“We still want to promote the safety of healthcare workers, and, most importantly, of our patients,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “There are scenarios where patients should be wearing a mask. For example, if somebody has a weakened immune system or somebody is frail, those individuals in a hospital will likely be wearing a mask.”

Dr. Gastaldo told 10TV that “This virus is not going away in a hospital. We really need to prioritize the safety of patients when they come in and there are scenarios like I said where masks will be required especially those who have been compromised.”

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

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