The landscape of COVID-19 has changed over the last three years. The Public Health Emergency will be coming to a close in May. With the continual decrease in cases, high levels of immunity (both from vaccination and previous infection), and the availability of effective treatments, U-M Health will further reduce some of the COVID-19 prevention strategies that have been in place.
Washtenaw County is no longer in High Transmission, having dropped to Substantial, a lower category, for over a month. The CDC allows for health care institutions to relax their masking requirements to best meet their needs once out of High Transmission.
The goal at U-M Health is to protect patients and workforce members from exposure, while allowing individuals the flexibility to take precautions based on their perceived level of risk.
Effective April 5, the next phase of masking will be for source control, with a focus on patient care interactions.
Workforce members will be required to wear masks when:
- Providing direct patient care including whenever crossing the hand hygiene threshold
- Workforce members with COVID-19 that have been cleared to return to work from Day 6-10
- For clusters or outbreaks occurring on units, as recommended by Infection Prevention & Epidemiology
In addition, workforce members will continue to have the option to wear an N95 if they prefer a higher level of protection in settings with fewer masked individuals.
Patients and visitors will not be required to wear masks in any setting except when:
- Visiting patients in precautions for COVID-19
- Seeking medical care for respiratory symptoms and/or COVID-19
- A household contact has COVID-19
Masks, otherwise, will be optional in public areas of the hospital including hallways, cafeterias and most waiting areas. Patients who are being seen for respiratory symptoms, fever, new cough or rash will continue to mask. Masks will continue to be available throughout for anyone who chooses to wear one.
Masking remains required for other clinical or environmental standards, such as for personal protective equipment, sterile assembly, clean rooms, operating rooms, procedure areas, etc.
Please see FAQs for specific scenarios. If you have a specific question about your area that it does not address, please send it to: UM-ICE@med.umich.edu