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Colorado hospitals deal with continued confusion and resistance over mask mandates

CDC guidelines and current state mandates require mask wearing inside of emergency medical and other healthcare settings.

COLORADO, USA — Hospitals are dealing with confusion and resistance over continued mask policies inside of their buildings.

UCHealth workers said they are having multiple conversations, every day with people who either do not understand why masks are still required inside hospitals, or they refuse to accept it.

The Colorado Hospital Association said it has heard concerns from other hospitals and health care systems that are running into similar resistance from their patients and visitors.

“It is confusing when you can be out in public without a mask but here you come to the hospital and we’re still all wearing this,” UCHealth’s University of Colorado Hospital Supervisor Sunni Hyde said. “We’re just taking every precaution we can take to make sure that everybody’s safe.”

CDC guidelines and current state mandates require mask-wearing inside of emergency medical and other healthcare settings (including hospitals, ambulance service centers, urgent care centers, non-ambulatory surgical structures, clinics, doctors’ offices and non-urgent care medical structures).

Hyde explains to patients and visitors on a daily basis why this rule stays in effect, even for vaccinated individuals.

“We don’t know how long this vaccine is good for,” Hyde said. “Potentially, even though you have been vaccinated, you could have been exposed or you could have been exposed to a slightly different strain and become sick. Our hope is that in staying vigilant with all of our precautions that we can still allow families to be here with their loved ones.”

In recent months, non-COVID patients have been allowed two visitors in a 24-hour period at the University of Colorado Hospital.

One visitor per day can visit a COVID-19 patient for one hour after watching a safety video and after being given personal protective equipment like a gown and mask.

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