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Visitors to Alabama nursing homes, hospitals still under mask requirements
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Visitors to Alabama nursing homes, hospitals still under mask requirements

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Southeast Health Medical Center

Southeast Health Medical Center

Alabama’s nursing homes and hospitals are still under federal mask requirements for vaccinated persons.

The Alabama Nursing Home Association and Alabama Hospital Association said in a joint release Friday that people will still be required to wear masks when they visit their facilities.

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“Cases of COVID-19 are down 98% in Alabama’s nursing homes and we’re beginning to return to normal operations,” Brandon Farmer, Alabama Nursing Home Association president and CEO, said. “We’re glad the public can begin to do more activities without wearing a mask. However, nursing homes must still abide by federal guidelines that require residents, visitors and staff members to wear masks in certain circumstances. We appreciate the family members of our residents understanding and wearing a mask when they visit their loved one.”

Both hospitals and nursing homes must continue to follow the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visitation guidance issued on April 27. This requires that “visitors to healthcare facilities, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear a well-fitting cloth mask, facemask, or respirator.” The only exception is when they are alone in the patient or resident’s room or the designated visitation room, patients/residents and their visitor(s) can remove their masks.

“Providing good care to patients in a safe environment is the primary goal of our hospitals,” Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, said. “While the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals is definitely decreasing, hospitals are still treating many of these patients and must take every precaution to ensure the virus is not spread internally. That’s why the CDC and others are still requiring those in healthcare facilities to wear masks. Just as hospital staff must continue to wear their masks, those visiting patients will also be required to wear their masks.”

On Thursday, the CDC announced that people fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may go mask-less in most indoor and outdoor places.

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