MINOT — Trinity Health is easing some of its masking requirements for people vaccinated against COVID-19 – a change that will continue so long as community incidence of the virus remains at lower levels.
Starting Thursday, July 7, face masks will be optional for patients and visitors who are fully vaccinated and free from respiratory symptoms. Fully vaccinated means having received a complete primary series – whether one dose or two – of a COVID-19 vaccine and being two weeks past the last dose.
Masking will still be necessary for people presenting with respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever or congestion, or for those who have yet to be fully vaccinated. Visitors or other non-patients with symptoms may still be denied facility access.
Randy Schwan, Trinity Health Vice President of Mission Integration, says the change in mask policy follows the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most indoor settings and that healthcare facilities in areas with low transmission rates of COVID-19 can elect to make face masks optional.
“There will still be specific units and patient situations where masks for patients and visitors are required,” said Schwan, "and staff will continue to wear masks while conducting direct patient care.” Schwan further explained that masking strategies at Trinity Health's nursing home are required to abide by different criteria, and those restrictions remain in place.
More detailed visitor guidelines can be found at www.trinityhealth.org.