Hospitals reinstate mask requirement

by Christopher Smith - EAP
Hospitals reinstate mask requirement
Hospitals in Eastern Ontario are requiring masks again for patients, visitors, and staff. (Photo : file)

An increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations has prompted a return of mask requirements in hospitals.

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the region, as well as the upcoming flu season, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has reinstated mandatory masking at all hospitals under its jurisdiction. All staff, patients, and visitors will be required to wear a mask while inside Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) and Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH).

Last week, the EOHU started offering an updated COVID-19 XBB vaccine at vaccination clinics and participating pharmacies and physicians. It’s available for everyone aged six months and older, if it’s been at least six months since their last dose or a known COVID-19 infection.

“As COVID-19 is now one of the normally circulating viruses in the community, I encourage everyone to receive the updated COVID-19 vaccine as it will help prevent infections from Omicron subvariants and protect against severe illness,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in our region and receiving the COVID-19 XBB.1.5 vaccine is an important step in keeping our community healthy this respiratory illness season.”

The EOHU will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals by appointment only. The shots will be given at community-based clinics, and the flu shot will be offered at the same time. Appointments can be booked online at or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

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