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Duke Health Updates Masking Requirements

Masks no Longer Required in Certain Areas


Stephanie Lopez
Stephanie Lopez
919-724-5934 Email

Starting Thursday, March 23, patients and visitors will be able to enter the main public areas of Duke hospitals without wearing a mask.

Masks will be optional for patients and visitors where no patient care is occurring, including outdoor areas and entrances. Employees will also have optional masking in staff areas of the hospitals, including offices, workrooms and break rooms.

However, masking will continue for all patients, visitors and staff in inpatient care units, hallways in inpatient care units, patient rooms, clinic waiting rooms, and clinic examination rooms. It will also be required of anyone with a new respiratory symptom even if they tested negative for COVID-19.

Posted signs and masking stations will be moved to clinical areas to provide context and support masking expectations.

Several factors guided this decision:

  • Evidence shows masking reduces health care-associated COVID-19 clusters.
  • Evidence shows masking reduces other respiratory viral infections and spread of emerging pathogens.
  • Community transmission remains moderate/substantial in most counties in NC.
  • Immunocompromised patients comprise a significant proportion of our total patient population and are interspersed throughout the hospital.

Masking rules may change if community transmission levels, regulatory guidance, and other factors require a return to partial or universal masking.

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