Davis Health System to continue to require masks at all facilities

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Elkins, W.Va. – Davis Health System will continue to require face coverings at all its locations to ensure the safety of patients, guests and employees, officials announced Thursday.

On May 14, Governor Jim Justice lifted the face covering requirement for fully vaccinated state residents. Davis Health, like other hospitals, will continue to require mask use for anyone entering their medical facilities.

“To assure a safe environment for patients, visitors, and staff, we will continue to enforce the evidence-based practice of mask wearing,” said DHS Chief Medical Officer Catherine “Mindy” Chua. “We ask that anyone entering one of our hospitals or service areas understand that this is for your continued safety.”

According to DHS, “mask burn-out” creates unfriendly encounters at main entrances where patients are screened, and asked to comply with preventive requirements. Now that the state is following CDC guidelines allowing those who are vaccinated to drop the mask, DHS officials fear more hostility toward front line workers trying to enforce the hospital’s safe practices.

“From security staff to registration clerks, we encounter noncompliance with mask use daily. It’s our job to keep everyone inside our buildings safe, and we take that seriously,” said Kelly Cooper, head of Security at Davis Medical Center. “We’ve had these protocols in place for over a year, and the majority of our patients appreciate the steps we take to keep them safe.”

“Right now there just is not a good way to confirm who has been vaccinated and who has not,” said Chua. “Davis Health System will continue to follow CDC guidance on mask wearing, which at this time, continues to require masks in all health care facilities.”

All DHS and affiliated sites will maintain mask requirements until further notice. These include:

• Davis Medical Center

• DirectCare of Elkins

• Cancer Care Center

• Broaddus Hospital

• Health Center and Community Care Pharmacy

• Webster County Memorial Hospital

• All outpatient services

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