The Veterans Health Administration is relaxing masking requirement at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, including VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, effective immediately.
Masking will no longer be required in most clinical and non-clinical areas of the hospital including outpatient clinics, inpatient medical/surgical units, and common areas such as hallways or the cafeteria.
Masking continues to be required for staff, veterans, and visitors while in the following high-risk areas:
- Chemotherapy units
- ED and urgent care
Staff may remove masks in these high-risk areas only under the following circumstances:
- They are not in a patient room;
- They are not within six feet of a veteran in a congregate area (e.g., shared meals in CLC); or
- They are not within six feet of a patient in an open treatment area/room.
“This new policy will ensure the safety of veterans and VASNHS health care providers, while accommodating individual masking preferences,” said William Caron, VASNHS executive director/CEO. “While COVID-19 is and will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future, the recent end of the Public Health Emergency marks a turning point. This masking guidance is in line with the latest CDC guidance and based on the hard lessons we have learned over the last three years, while reflecting input from all levels of the organization.”
In addition, VHA will no longer require routine testing for ambulatory procedures or for veterans leaving and returning to a closed congregate setting.
Visit www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions for more information regarding the VHA COVID-19 health protection protocols.