Update to Masking Guidelines

April 08, 2024

Effective April 8, 2024, masks are encouraged but no longer required in most areas of Queensway Carleton Hospital, outside of the Emergency Department.


Everyone is required to wear a mask at all times in the Emergency Department, including staff, patients and families.

We will continue to have masks available throughout the hospital for all who need or want them. We will support those who choose to wear a mask because they feel vulnerable or to keep their loved ones safe. Liberal use of masks is part of our new normal. As a reminder, we ask visitors to stay home if they experience symptoms, except if they need to receive care.

This decision was not made lightly, given the importance we place on protecting our patients and staff particularly those whose medical conditions leave them more vulnerable to infection. This decision comes after rigorously monitoring various indicators.

We will actively monitor hospital and other public health indicators and make further adjustments as appropriate.

The five moments of masking

Outside of the Emergency Department, the masking of staff and physicians will be based on 5 particular scenarios:

    1. If a patient asks staff to mask.
    2. If a staff member's point of care risk assessment (PCRA) suggests they should be wearing a mask to protect their mucous membranes from splash or spray of blood or body fluids, or to protect a vulnerable patient from their respiratory secretions.
    3. If there is signage, such as a droplet/contact precautions sign that indicates masks are required to enter the patient care space.
    4. If a unit is on outbreak, requiring all patient care to be delivered wearing a mask and eye protection.
    5. If a staff member is on Work Self Isolation.