New Masking Guidelines at Montfort, The Royal, and Queensway Carleton Hospital

May 15, 2023

Ottawa – Montfort, The Royal and Queensway Carleton Hospital are taking one more step in the gradual and safe removal of some COVID-19 precautions.

What’s not changing:

Staff will continue to wear masks when engaged in patient care . Masks will be required by everyone in clinical areas including patient rooms, Emergency Departments, Diagnostic Imaging, clinic appointments and waiting rooms.

What’s changing:

Effective May 15th, masks are recommended but they are no longer required in public areas outside of clinical areas, such as hallways, elevators, cafeterias and coffee shops. This applies to staff, patients and visitors. This is a low-risk step that provides people with more flexibility and helps us recover as a community.

Please consult hospital websites and signage to confirm the exact guidelines at each facility.

This decision was not made lightly, given the importance we place on protecting our staff and our patients, particularly those whose medical conditions leave them more vulnerable to infection. The decision comes after having monitored various indicators to help determine the right timing for changes to be made:

  • The wastewater markers have stabilized.
  • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has decreased and there have been very few ICU admission for many weeks.
  • The number of COVID-19 outbreaks in our area has also declined.

With all this information, we are now prepared to take this next step for mask use. We will actively monitor hospital and other public health indicators, and make further adjustments as appropriate.

For some, masking still makes sense for medical reasons and to protect loved ones. We recommend masks when they come into higher risk areas, like hospitals. We will support them in their choices, and provide safe, quality care.

As a reminder, we ask visitors to stay home if they experience symptoms, except if they need to receive care.