Since the beginning of the pandemic, WhidbeyHealth’s primary duty has been to assure the safety of patients and staff. As more is learned about coronavirus, our policies have changed to fulfill that duty, which is especially important today due to the Omicron variant.
To enhance respiratory protection, standardizing masks for everyone entering any WhidbeyHealth facility is essential, especially given the very high rate at which the Omicron variant is transmitted from person to person.
Effective December 27th, anyone who enters any WhidbeyHealth facility will be required to wear either a medical procedural mask or an N-95 mask. Cloth masks (often decorative) do not offer adequate protection and may not be used in our facilities.
Updating our masking policy has been developed with the support of a working group of infectious disease experts at the university of Washington and a hospital collaboration group with other Critical Access Hospitals (like WhidbeyHealth) in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. It is important to note that the new variant has been detected in Island County and current case estimates identify 20% of all COVID positive cases as Omicron.
WhidbeyHealth is not making any changes to the current visitor policy which can be found here: https://whidbeyhealth.org/patients-visitors/policies/visitor-policies.
We continue to ask for the community’s amazing support to help end the pandemic – wear masks regardless of vaccination status, socially distance, and maintain great hand hygiene. WhidbeyHealth continues to strongly encourage all in our community to be vaccinated.
Stay connected with us for current information at: https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth