© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Masks Optional in Most Patient-Care Areas at LVHN Facilities Starting April 17 | WDIY Local News

Jievani Weerasinghe

Lehigh Valley Health Network will further relax its masking policy as COVID-19 cases trend downward. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

Lehigh Valley Health Network said in a release that beginning April 17, face masks will be optional in most areas within the network’s hospitals and health care facilities where patient care is provided.

Masking in non-patient care areas such as cafeterias, gift shops, pharmacies and chapels will continue to be optional. LVHN made masking in these areas voluntary in early March.

Some circumstances and locations will still require masks for patients and guests. These include:

  • Individuals with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Individuals with respiratory viral symptoms.
  • Transplant donors and recipients.
  • Patients and guests in Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute inpatient and outpatient locations.
  • Patients receiving infusion therapy.
  • NICU visitors.
  • Inpatient psychiatric units.

Anyone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case is urged not to visit LVHN sites.
Masking requirements at LVHN’s transitional skilled unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street is determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s regulations.

The TSU will clearly indicate its requirements on site, which are dependent on the presence of active COVID-19 cases in the unit.

In a statement Dr. Alex Benjamin, LVHN’s Chief Infection Control and Prevention Officer said continued masking in these instances is important because it provides the network’s most vulnerable patients with an extra layer of protection against COVID-19.

He encouraged people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of complications from COVID-19 to mask up in public.

Benjamin also said COVID-19 cases have recently been trending downward in the communities LVHN serves. He said the health network will continue monitoring the number of cases and adjust the masking policy as necessary.

(Original air-date: 4/16/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
Related Content