Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is asking all incoming patients, visitors and most staff to wear masks at the hospital starting Monday, Jun. 15, 2020.
“Anyone coming to KHSC for an outpatient clinic, procedure appointment or to visit will be required to wear a mask or face covering while on site,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at KHSC.
“This aligns with the increasing number of patients at KHSC as we gradually resume elective services, the return of learners to our organization and the continued reopening of the province, which potentially could lead to an increase in COVID-19 prevalence in our area.”
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam recommended all Canadians wear non-medical masks or face coverings as an added layer of protection in public on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, specifically when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
“These masks protect other people against your droplets,” she said, “So if you’re wearing it, you’re protecting other people.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the federal government took a public stance that masks were most useful when worn by sick individuals. Dr. Tam said that advice was extended to the general public as more evidence of COVID-19 transmission from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals comes to light.
“Although we don’t fully understand their role in transmission,” she said, “[a mask] is an added layer of protection, even for people who don’t have symptoms… to prevent transmission to others.”
KHSC is asking patients and visitors to bring their own masks or face coverings from home, in order to conserve the KHSC stock for health care workers. KHSC includes both the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site and the Hotel Dieu Hospital site.