Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UPMC required universal masking in hospitals and facilities. Masking and other preventive efforts helped to protect our patients, employees, support persons, and others from COVID-19.
As of May 1, 2023, UPMC is changing the masking policy for patients, employees, support persons, and all others in our facilities. We no longer will require universal masking throughout the facilities. We will require masking only in certain areas.
At UPMC, we respect a patient’s personal decision to wear a mask regardless of medical condition. Staff will support our patients by masking during interactions. Masks are available throughout UPMC facilities for people choosing to wear a mask.
Please note that this applies only to UPMC hospitals and facilities. Our policies may differ from guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health officials.
Here’s what you need to know about UPMC’s new masking policy.
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Do I Need to Wear a Mask at UPMC?
UPMC no longer requires universal masking at most facilities and locations. We do continue to require masking in areas where patients are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.
Signage throughout our facilities will indicate where we do and do not require masks.
We support anyone who chooses to wear a mask and will continue to provide masks for those who need them. Masks are widely available for people who need them.
Where is masking required at UPMC?
UPMC requires masks in certain clinical areas where patients have conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19. That includes:
- Bone marrow transplant units and clinics.
- Solid organ transplant units and clinics.
- Levels 3 and 4 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
In those areas, masks are mandatory for employees, patients, support persons, and all other visitors. Also:
- Staff members must wear a mask at all times when interacting with a patient and anywhere that a patient is or could be present.
- Patients, support persons, and visitors must wear a mask when a health care worker is present.
- Patients can remove their masks if they’re by themselves.
- We encourage but don’t require masks when only a patient and support person are together in these areas.
Universal masking in these areas is important because patients have lower immunity and are at greater risk for COVID-19 complications.
We also may require masking in other areas of our facilities to prevent transmission of COVID-19. That includes areas where patients are getting treated for or have symptoms of COVID-19.
Why UPMC’s Masking Policy Is Changing
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UPMC monitored the risk of COVID-19 transmission inside our facilities. We shaped our policies to minimize the risks to our patients, employees, visitors, and all others in our facilities.
Along with masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other preventive methods helped to prevent COVID-19 spread at UPMC facilities. But with recent encouraging data on COVID-19, we are adjusting our masking policy.
The rates of COVID-19 infection and serious complications like hospitalizations and deaths have dropped. Also, vaccination is effective against COVID-19, especially in preventing serious complications from the disease.
We are continuing to take preventive steps against COVID-19 in our facilities. Those efforts include:
- Masking for patients and health care workers if patients have COVID-19.
- Prompt COVID-19 testing for patients and workers.
- Readily available masks for people who wish to have them.
- Encouraging COVID-19 vaccination for everyone who is eligible.
We will continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 activity in our communities. Universal masking could become required once again.
Can I Still Wear a Mask at UPMC?
Yes, you can continue to wear a mask throughout UPMC’s facilities if you wish to do so. We encourage and support anyone wearing a mask if they feel more comfortable doing so. Masks will remain available in UPMC facilities for people who need them. You also may ask your health care workers to wear masks if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Our masking policies may change depending on the rate of COVID-19 activity in the community. We will provide updates if that happens.
UPMC remains committed to protecting our communities against COVID-19. Please visit our website for more information.
The UPMC Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Center is a joint program between UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. We provide long-term care for adolescents, young adults, maternal patients, and adults with congenital heart disease. Our goal is to provide complete care from your childhood all the way through your life. Our team of experts has a wide knowledge of heart conditions.