Masking Requirements Update
With fall comes the arrival of respiratory viruses and the need to revisit and remind registrants of guidelines to protect the population from the effects of influenza, COVID-19, and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.
We recognize that CPSM registrants practice in a variety of environments. This guidance for masking requirements falls under two categories – those who practice in Shared Health/Regional Health Authority-managed facilities and those whose practice falls outside those facilities.
If you practice in a Shared Health/ Regional Health Authority (RHA) facility:
For those practicing in Shared Health-managed facilities, please continue to follow the clinical guidelines provided to you including the current masking requirement:
Effective October 18, 2023, healthcare workers at acute, long-term care, and community settings Shared Health facilities are required to wear a medical-grade mask while providing direct care.
Read the Shared Health memo here.
If you practice outside of a Shared Health or RHA:
CPSM is aligned with Public Health’s clinically informed approach to mitigating the effects of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
The discretion to determine the use of masks in your clinic is to be made by clinics/offices and should consider the well-being of your patients, staff, and other visitors. Entrusting this decision at the clinic level ensures your practice can adopt an approach that best serves your environment.
This guidance is consistent with your professional responsibility to “Consider first the well-being of the patient; always act to benefit the patient and promote the good of the patient.” (CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism).
- Assess the risk of your patient population and use your knowledge, skill, and judgement when establishing masking protocols.
- Maintain a mask-friendly environment where all patients, staff and other visitors feel comfortable wearing a mask. This can be achieved by:
- Clearly communicating your masking requirements and rationale to patients before appointments and posting signage on your door or entry (click here to download posters from Doctors Manitoba).
- Encouraging mask-wearing should not lead to refusing care to a patient who is not wearing a mask.
- Regardless of masking requirements, you must not restrict access to care for patients who have COVID-19. Consider how you can best provide care to them, such as planning to see them at the end of the day or taking other precautions.
Additionally, you should remind your patients of the tools available to help protect themselves, their families, and the community during the respiratory virus season, including:
- choosing to be immunized against COVID-19 and the flu;
- staying home when they’re sick and until they’re feeling better and no longer have a fever;
- regularly washing hands or using hand sanitizer;
- covering coughs and sneezes;
- choosing to wear a mask as an extra layer of protection;
- regularly cleaning and disinfecting shared surfaces and objects; and
- choosing to get the pneumococcal vaccine (for those who are eligible).
We thank you for continuing to provide Manitobans with quality and safe medical care.
This guidance reflects the current available data. We continue to monitor the developments and adjust our advice as necessary.