Thanks to everyone who has been vaccinated against the flu. Our flu vaccination policies and infection control practices help us prevent the spread of influenza and other seasonal viruses not only to our patients, but also to one another.
Please be vigilant about infection control in the workplace. Help us protect our patients, visitors and each other year round and especially now, when the risk of flu is especially high. Practice hand hygiene, stay home if you’re sick and know about our masking requirements.
Here’s the recap: Workers who cannot be vaccinated or who have declined vaccination are now required to wear procedure masks or surgical masks when around patients in the following situations:
- When providing care or working in an enclosed space (such as an inpatient hospital room or diagnostic, procedure, treatment, exam and/or clinic room).
- When care is provided in an open area (e.g., holding area, Post Acute Care Unit, day surgery, etc.), masks must be worn when within 6 feet of any patient bed space.
- When admitting/registration personnel are working within six feet of patients.
- When providing care within 6 feet of patients in a homecare setting.
Here are other do’s and don’ts for masking:
- Surgical and procedure masks are considered single use: They must be removed upon exiting an enclosed space or after caring for a patient in an open area
- Don a new mask upon entering another patient room or caring for a different patient in an open patient area. Masks are not to be carried or worn around the neck for reuse upon re-entry to a patient care room or open area.
- Masks are not required at nursing stations, charting areas, conference rooms or break rooms, etc., unless these are situated within 6 feet of a patient’s bed space. Although patients may transiently pass within six feet of personnel in these areas, the mask requirement applies only to personnel directly interacting with patients in these common and/or office areas.
For more information on masking requirements, please refer to UF Health Shands HR Policy HR.604 or call Infection Control at 352-265-0284 (50-BUG). Visit Flu Central at Bridge.UFHealth.org/flu to stay up to date on all things flu.