The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) said it is bringing back universal mask-wearing guidelines for health-care workers due to an “important rise in the number of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in both the community and within the MUHC.”
The new directive was announced Thursday evening in a news release.
The masking guideline applies to health-care workers who provide direct care to patients and who interact with other employees in clinical care areas. They are not required, however, in other areas, such as hallways and cafeterias.
Hospitals that are part of the announcement include the Royal Victoria, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and the Montreal General Hospital, among others.
Face masks are not mandatory for patients, but are recommended in certain cases: in the presence of symptoms of an acute infection, in areas where there is a COVID-19 outbreak, and for patients who are at higher risk of complications from the coronavirus.
According to the most recent data from the province, there were a total of 1,009 hospitalizations for COVID-19 across Quebec for the week of Sept. 3 to 9, including 18 patients in the intensive care unit.
Quebec continues to screen wastewater levels for COVID-19 to track community transmission of the virus. Data from Quebec’s Public Health Institute (INSPQ) shows that since mid-August through Sept. 7, there has been a slight increase of samples of COVID-19 detected.