DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) – Masks are no longer required in most situations at UnityPoint hospitals in eastern Iowa, including St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids, Allen Hospital in Waterloo and Finley Hospital in Dubuque.
“Due to lower community transfer and very low numbers of patients being admitted with a COVID diagnosis and isolated with COVID, we thought it was time to relax our masking mandate,” explained Mary Peters, Finley Hospital’s senior nurse. In its latest update, Dubuque County reported two people hospitalized with the virus.
Unvaccinated people are still asked to wear a mask at all times. However, everyone who is vaccinated, including staff, does not have to wear a mask as long as they are not involved in direct care.
Peters said patients are still required to wear masks when in direct contact with a health care provider.
“If you come in for an X-ray examination of the thorax, you do not necessarily have to wear a mask when you enter the facility, but when you are called back to that X-ray room, the X-ray technician goes in. To wear their mask, and we will ask the patient to put on the mask because there is close interaction between two people, ”she said.
Peters said the hospital recognizes that some people are more vulnerable than others. She added that this is why in some areas, such as oncology, they have decided that staff, patients and visitors should wear masks at all times.
Finley Hospital is also changing its visitation guidelines. Peters explained that they now allow two visitors per. patient. However, visitors must wear a mask when walking to patients in a room.
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