Masking still required in Intermountain facilities, regardless of state or community mandates or individual vaccine or immunity status

Intermountain is frequently addressing questions and concerns about the April 10, 2021 expiration of Utah’s statewide mask mandate and what this change means for our facilities across Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.

On and after April 10th, there is no change to Intermountain’s policy requiring masking in our facilities when Utah’s mask mandate expires meaning all caregivers, patients, and visitors will be required to mask upon entry of any Intermountain facility.

Not enough people are vaccinated and immune from COVID-19 in our communities to fully protect each other, including vulnerable individuals, from COVID infection. Even vaccinated individuals—while much more protected from getting infected, sick, or seriously ill from COVID—could still spread the virus to others. We need to still be vigilant and mask, particularly in healthcare facilities, to keep each other safe.

Intermountain’s masking policy is supported by Utah Hospital Association’s recommendation for all healthcare settings to continue to implement a masking requirement past April 10th.

I've seen on social media that wearing a mask doesn't make any difference.

A lot of misinformation has been spreading recently about facial masking. However, clinicians agree that both cloth masks and surgical masks block nearly all droplets coming in from outside sources as well as droplets secreted by the wearer. These types of masks also provide some level of protection from aerosol secretions, ranging from 50-90% depending upon the material of the mask. N95 masks used in medical and industrial settings provide an even higher level of protection.

How do I wear a mask?

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Start by placing your mask over your mouth and nose with clean hands, then tie it behind your head or loop behind your ears, making sure it fits snugly. Make sure to cover your nose and your mouth. Once in place, avoid touching your mask. Remove your mask by untying or lifting from the ear loops, avoiding touching the front of the mask or your face. Wash your hands immediately after removing.

What kind of mask should I be wearing?

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All masks offer some level of protection. You don’t need a N95 mask to make a difference. In fact, save N95s for healthcare workers. Surgical masks and a variety of cloth masks are readily available.

How can I protect myself?

The best way to protect yourself from contracting coronaviruses is by using the same daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and the flu. To help prevent the spread of disease always:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public places where it’s hard to keep a six-foot distance from other people. Face coverings, combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, can help slow the spread of disease.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (and keep sick children home from school).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.