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Masking optional beginning March 28, 2023

Masking optional beginning March 28, 2023

Starting March 28, 2023, the Universal Mask Mandate will be ending at BCH, meaning it will be each person’s choice to wear a mask, or not, including in areas of direct patient care.

Please remember, if you are sick or have respiratory symptoms, wear a mask. Our hospital and clinic locations are caring for medically vulnerable people, and wearing a mask when you are sick is a scientifically proven way of effectively limiting the transmission and acquisition of respiratory viruses.

Amie Meditz, MD, Infectious Diseases Specialist, explains more about this change:

Why is BCH ending the mask mandate?

This timing to go mask optional on March 28 was decided based on several major factors, including:

  • COVID-19 is now endemic, which means we have a relatively constant rate of infection, hospitalization, and death in our community.

  • We have highly effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 available, which have reduced hospitalizations and deaths.

  • This date marks the close of flu season.

The Pandemic Planning Committee will continue to monitor specific benchmarks to monitor this policy change, including the rate of infection and hospitalization due to COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses and employee illness rates. Be aware that our policy may change.

Be respectful and use your best judgment.

Some people will continue to choose to wear a mask at BCH and, as a patient, you have a right to request that your care team wear a mask during direct patient care.

I want to be clear,” Amie says, “Masks are a scientifically proven way of effectively limiting transmission and acquisition of respiratory viruses and have saved innumerable lives and protected our patients from undue illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people, like myself, will continue to wear a mask, and it is important that we respect the choices of others.”

Use common sense and good judgment about when you should wear a mask in our facilities and elsewhere in the community.