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  • Create Date October 13, 2023
  • Last Updated October 13, 2023

Enhanced masking in AHS acute care facilities

Enhanced masking in AHS acute care facilities


Dear Community Leaders and Partners,


AHS has adopted a masking directive that supports Zone and Site Leadership in determining if additional masking is necessary in their acute care facilities to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.


The Use of Masks to Prevent Transmission of COVID-19 Directive, which comes into effect today, is a tool that Zone Executive Leadership or Chief Program Officers and Site Leadership will use to make site and zone-specific enhanced masking decisions.


When implemented by the Site Leadership and Zone Executive Leadership (or the Chief Program Officer), the directive will require all AHS staff, workers at Alberta Precision Laboratories, Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre, as well as all physicians, midwives, students, volunteers, and contracted service providers to mask in an acute care facility when they are in an area where they may come into contact with or that is accessible to patients or designated family/support persons and where required, as outlined in the IPC Risk Assessment.


This directive supports local leadership to determine if enhanced masking is necessary, and can include patient care areas, elevators/staircases/hallways, common areas, gift shops, and cafeterias where patient contact could occur in acute care facilities.


Decisions to implement enhanced masking will be based on several factors which consider rate of hospitalizations, number of outbreaks, occupancy, test positivity, and situational context.


Wearing a mask is optional for AHS workers when they are in an area where there is no contact with patients (staff break rooms/meeting rooms, corporate settings, health records departments) or until the directive has been implemented. Masking is also optional at continuing care and Addiction and Mental Health settings that are not within an acute care site.


AHS strongly encourages all staff and visitors attending any of our facilities to mask, stay home when ill, and continue to practice diligent hand hygiene as part of our ongoing efforts to keep patients, families and each other safe and healthy.


As a reminder, the IPC Risk Assessment is the process used by staff to make patient management and PPE decisions when working with patients and providing care. Additional PPE may be required based on the risk assessment and Joint Statement: COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment.


When the directive is implemented at a site, enhanced masking will also be required for patients, designated family/support persons and visitors in Emergency Departments in acute care facilities.


We are grateful for the efforts of our staff, families, visitors and partners to maintain a healthcare environment that promotes patient and staff safety and well-being.




Mauro Chies
AHS President & CEO


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