Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is re-introducing masking in “key patient care areas” of its hospitals, effective immediately.
In a release issued shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, the health care agency — which oversees the operations of a number of Kingston hospitals and clinics, including Kingston General Hospital (KGH), Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH), and the Cancer Care Centre of Southeastern Ontario — stated that masks are now mandatory in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre, and the Children’s Outpatient Clinic at its hospitals. Additionally, KHSC said the use of masks is strongly recommended on other units managing patients at high-risk.
The return to masking is in response to “rising COVID-19 prevalence in southeastern Ontario,” KHSC stated.
“Throughout the pandemic, KHSC’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team has monitored local COVID-19 community prevalence markers including COVID-19 test positivity, outbreaks in congregate living settings, and wastewater detection. After falling to three per cent earlier this summer, test positivity is now approaching 10 per cent in southeastern Ontario,” the release reads.
According to KHSC, further control measures will be re-introduced should local COVID-19 markers continue to rise in Kingston. Escalating control measures continue to be part of KHSC’s respiratory response plan.
To help reduce the risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, KHSC encourages everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, get an annual flu shot, practice regular handwashing, wear a mask and stay home when sick.
For more information visit the KHSC website.