Riverside updates masking guidelines

Riverside Health Care is pleased to announce the implementation of updated protocols for masking based on recent updates from the Ministry of Long-Term Care. Effective immediately, these updated changes are aimed at providing a more efficient and effective healthcare experience while ensuring the safety and well-being of our patients, residents, clients, staff, and visitors.

Masks are recommended but no longer required in all areas of our long-term care homes (Rainycrest, Emo and Rainy River Health Centres).

Visitors and caregivers may now join long-term care residents in communal areas for dining and sharing meals or beverages.

It is important to note that during outbreak situations all individuals must comply with masking and other requirements as directed. Additionally, in alignment with the Residents’ Bill of Rights, Riverside respects requests from long-term care residents or their substitute decision-makers to have staff members wear masks during care provision. All people presenting to a Riverside Emergency Department for care are still required to wear a medical mask.

We remind all visitors to self-screen prior to entering Riverside facilities. People with fever, cough, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms are asked to not visit unless they are seeking care. Riverside continues to remind the public to practice good-hand hygiene and to be mindful of exposure risks.

Across our facilities staff may consider wearing a mask based a point-of-care risk assessment consistent with current practices or during prolonged direct care (defined as one-on-one care within two metres of an individual for 15 minutes or longer) and masks are no longer required in administrative and staff-only areas.

Like all policies and practices, these changes will be subject to ongoing evaluation in relation to the spread of respiratory infections and will be revisited if needed. All decisions will continue to be based on public health guidance and provincial direction.

Masks will continue to be available at all hospital and long-term care facilities for those who would like to wear one, and individuals will be respected in their decision to do so.