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VA masking guidance changes

Blue antiviral medical face masks

While COVID-19 is still with us and will be for the foreseeable future, VA is updating its COVID-19 safety precautions, including relaxing masking requirements at VA medical facilities.

Except for high-risk areas and situations, universal masking is no longer required. This is in line with CDC guidance and builds on the lessons we’ve learned in the last 3 years on how to keep patients and staff safe.

Masks will continue to be required for staff, Veterans, and visitors while in the high-risk areas listed below, including waiting areas:

  • Transplant units
  • Dialysis
  • Chemotherapy units
  • Emergency department and urgent care
  • Open bay medical intensive care units
  • Spinal cord injury and community living centers (staff and visitors only, with the exception that visitors to CLCs and SCI may unmask when visiting with a patient within that patient’s room or outside)

Masking also continues to be required:

  • For those with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection or other viral respiratory infection
  • For health care providers caring for those with known or suspected COVID-19
  • For VHA health care personnel upon request of a Veteran patient, caregiver, or family member
  • Where local leadership warrants continued masking is required

Moving forward, VA will monitor any changes to CDC guidelines and update infection control recommendations as necessary.

There may be other areas that require a mask. Please look for signage indicating masks when a mask is needed. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you.

For more information regarding COVID-19 policies at VA, visit the Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Please contact your care team if you have any questions.

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