Intermountain will continue to follow federal masking and prevention guidelines

COVID masking and prevention guidelines

Thank you for helping patients and visitors understand and support the guidelines


Most of our community has transitioned back to pre-pandemic behaviors. Some have asked why we continue to follow masking guidelines that have been relaxed out in the general public. We know patients and visitors are occasionally confused by these differences and at times have responded negatively. Thank you for all you've done to compassionately respond to patients and visitors to help them understand why we use these precautions and to honor them.

Why we continue to follow these precautions

First, it's required by law. Healthcare settings are fundamentally different and must follow the CDC guidelines required by CMS and OSHA.
Second, maintaining strict guidelines is in the best interest of our patients and caregivers for many reasons:
  • Our hospitals and clinics take care of vulnerable patients who are at risk of severe disease/death if infected.
  • Newer variants of COVID-19 have higher transmissibility and are more likely to evade immune defenses than previous strains, whether peoples’ immunity came from vaccination or previous infection.
  • We have caregiver shortages, and while they could get sick outside of work, we should try to limit workplace exposure to respiratory droplets as much as possible to keep caregivers healthy and working.
  • CDC guidance would allow individuals who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations to be unmasked, when our community transmission levels are low.  Our current transmission levels remain high.  “Up to date” is defined as receiving the primary series and the most recent boosters. (Source:
  • All patients and visitors must mask while in care sites.  Visitors may remove their mask when they're with a patient in their room, but must mask when caregivers enter the room and any time they are in the hallway or common areas.
  • Caregivers must wear masks in all patient facing areas, which include patient and exam rooms, hallways, cafeterias, nurses’ stations, registration, and home visits
  • When caring for COVID-unknown or COVID-positive patients, N-95/goggles or a PAPR must be worn.
  • We will continue visitor restrictions for people exposed to COVID or who are currently ill. Caregivers with COVID like symptoms should not work and follow current Employee Health recommendations.
  • Source control and physical distancing (when physical distancing is feasible and will not interfere with provision of care) are recommended for everyone in a healthcare setting. This is particularly important for individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, who live or work in counties with substantial to high community transmission.   
  • All caregivers are still required to screen for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival for their shift, as recommended by the CDC. Care sites should have a process in place (options: QR code survey, unit screening, sign-in attestation sheets, signage at points of entry).
  • What about outpatient and clinic areas? Although not regulated by joint commission or CMS, clinics do fall under the OSHA rule for COVID-19 prevention, so we maintain the same standards in those areas.  
For a full list of COVID-19 guidelines for all our facilities, please go here.
Again, please compassionately encourage patients, visitors and your coworkers to use these precautions. As with most caregiver guidelines related to the pandemic, we’ll watch the trends and data closely and will continue to revisit guidance in the future.