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Masking Guidelines

Effective immediately, masking continues to be required for staff, Veterans, and visitors while in the high-risk areas.

Masking continues to be required in the high-risk areas listed below, including waiting areas:  

Transplant units   
Chemotherapy units   
ED & urgent care   
Open Bay Medical ICUs  
SCI and CLC (staff and visitors only)   
Masking also continues to be required:

For those with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection or other viral respiratory infection;
for VA staff during clinical encounters when requested by a Veteran, caregiver or family member; or
where local leadership warrants continued masking is required.

Masking is no longer universally required in the following locations:

Acute inpatient medical/surgical units
Acute inpatient mental health units
Intensive care units with closed rooms
Clinical areas where aerosol generating procedures are performed
Laboratories collecting or handling specimens from known or suspected COVID-19 patients (e.g., areas where staff are manipulating cultures from known or suspected COVID-19 patients)
Congregate settings and bedded residential settings (e.g., blind rehab, residential mental health, homeless shelters)
Outpatient areas where a significant proportion of patients have high-risk for complication