Most of Michigan’s major health systems are switching to optional masking protocols, more than three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corewell Health, formerly Beaumont Health, said the number of COVID-19 patients, which has dropped drastically across the state, was one of the biggest factors in the decision, along with growing options to combat the virus, such as vaccines and medical treatments.
“COVID-19 has become an illness that will mostly be treated like other respiratory illnesses like the flu. The virus will probably be around for years to come,” Courwell said in a press release.
All health systems will continue to provide stations with free masks and hand sanitizer at the entrance for patients, visitors and team members who choose to use them. Patients can also ask their care team to wear a mask. Masking guidelines may be adjusted again if COVID-19, the flu, or another virus begins to spread rapidly in the community.
Here’s a breakdown of the Michigan health system’s changing policies:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Ascension Michigan acute care and ambulatory centers have suspended the routine use of hospital-grade masks except in units providing care for patients with special immunocompromised populations or at increased risk of complications from COVID-19. These include intensive care units, oncology units/centers and transplant units.
Bronson Health Care
Effective Tuesday, April 18: Masking will become optional for patients, visitors and employees at Bronson Healthcare hospitals and outpatient facilities, except for those exhibiting symptoms of respiratory or infectious illness. Masking will continue at Bronson Commons – a skilled nursing facility.
Effective Friday, April 14, at 6 a.m.: Optional masking for patients and clinical teams at all hospitals and locations except long-term care and skilled nursing facilities and transplant clinics.
Effective Monday, April 17: Masking will be optional for staff, patients, visitors and volunteers at Covenant facilities, with few exceptions. Details can be found on the website of the agreement.
Detroit Medical Center (DMC)
Effective Friday, April 14: Masking will be optional for patients and staff at all Detroit Medical Center hospitals and locations.
Henry Ford Health
Effective Friday, April 14: Masks will be optional at Henry Ford Health facilities except in inpatient areas where we care for immunocompromised patients.
Mary free bed rehabilitation
Effective Friday, April 14 at 7 a.m.: Masking is recommended but optional for patients, visitors and clinical teams at our Grand Rapids Hospital campus, West Michigan outpatient location and Mary Free Bed Orthotics and Prosthetic + Bionics locations. Masks will continue to be required for patients, visitors and staff at the Mary Free Bed Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Program.
Effective Monday, April 17: Masking will become optional for all McLaren Healthcare hospitals and outpatients, except designated critical care units, Carmans Cancer Institute facilities, subacute/outpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing facilities.
Munson Health Care
Effective Friday, April 14: Universal masks will no longer be required at Munson Healthcare hospitals and clinics — with the exception of long-term care and skilled nursing facilities. Also, the health system will return to its pre-pandemic inspection policy.
Visitors and patients are no longer required to wear masks in non-patient care areas, including common entrances, hallways and waiting rooms. Patient care areas are defined as any place where patients are being screened, evaluated, treated, or admitted.
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Effective Thursday, April 13: Employees and visitors are no longer required to wear masks except in 24/7 patient care settings and special care units. Patients will continue to be screened/tested for COVID-19 upon admission and are not required to wear a mask unless symptoms of illness are confirmed or a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection has been made.
Trinity Health Michigan
Effective Monday, April 17: Optional masking for patients, visitors and hospital colleagues except in senior living communities, outpatient facilities, home health and physician offices.
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