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Healthcare organizations remind visitors: Masks required at hospitals, clinics

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SPRINGFIELD – Local healthcare organizations on Friday emphasized that anyone visiting a hospital or clinic must wear a mask at all times, saying that the public’s compliance is critical to reduce the community spread of COVID-19.

All visitors must wear masks for the entire duration of their visit, including at all times while in a patient’s room. Visitors who refuse to wear a mask will not be allowed to enter or will be asked to leave the facility if they do not comply. 

“We realize there are times when it is beneficial to a patient to have a loved one physically present,” said Dr. David Graham, Memorial Health System senior vice president and chief quality and innovation officer. “However, we need the public’s help to keep our patients, our healthcare workers and the community safe.”

Hospital leaders also urged family members to use electronic alternatives like videoconferencing to check in on hospitalized patients and to limit in-person visits as much as possible.

Visitors may wear disposable masks, cloth masks or bandannas. Any mask must cover the wearer’s nose and mouth, and the visitor must keep it in that position at all times. If a visitor does not have a mask, one will be provided at the entry.

“There is clear scientific evidence that wearing a mask helps reduce the possibility of community spread of COVID-19,” said Allison Paul, a registered nurse and chief nursing executive for HSHS Illinois. “It’s critical that those visiting our healthcare facilities do their part by following these regulations.”

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