BALTIMORE, MD—As part of its ongoing preparedness and response effort regarding COVID-19 and in order to protect patients, staff and visitors, the University of Maryland Medical System has implemented a Universal Masking Policy for all 13 System hospitals and other UMMS healthcare facilities beginning Monday, April 6 at 7 a.m. and continuing until further notice.
The Universal Masking Policy will require every person within a UMMS acute care or ambulatory facility to wear a face mask at all times.
“The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is happening on multiple fronts and our mission to provide high quality, compassionate and safe patient care and to ensure the safety of our workforce has never been as demanding or as important as it is right now,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Maryland Medical System.
“Given the asymptomatic community spread of COVID-19, we have shifted to a broader stance on infection prevention, including this masking policy, out of an abundance of caution and respect for the safety of our patients and staff,” Dr. Suntha added.
UMMS staff members are being provided with appropriate masks to support this new policy.
Non-medical or cloth masks are permitted (and encouraged) for use when walking through the facility. When clinical or non-clinical staff are within six feet of any non-PUI patient, a medical mask is required. When clinical staff is within six feet of a COVID-19 positive or PUI patient, all proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines are being followed, including use of a respirator, eye protection gown and gloves.
As new information about the COVID-19 virus is learned on a daily basis, and expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is shared, UMMS policies such as this one will evolve and develop as appropriate.
More information about the Universal Masking Policy and other information related to the UMMS response to the global pandemic can be found at https://umms.org/coronavirus.