DOH Recommends Masking for Health Care

The Department of Health (DOH/the Department) released a Health Advisory on January 8, 2024, alerting health care providers to the recent increases in cases of influenza and COVID-19 throughout the state.

Health care providers are being urged by DOH to advocate for the use of face coverings in patient care areas and activities. Masking can prevent transmission and ensure a healthy workforce.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen over the last two weeks, driven in part by holiday gatherings and the circulating JN.1 variant. JN.1 has a high level of infectivity and immune evasion.

Influenza hospitalizations have gone up as well, with reported cases increasing by 30% week over week.

Health care facilities are already showing signs of stress. Therefore, the Department recommends that all health care settings institute masking policies for patient-facing personnel. Visitors should also be encouraged to wear a mask.

See the DOH notification on the HCP Emergency Management website for more information about disease trends and the JN.1 SARSCov-2 variant.