Not all area hospitals go mask-free after state’s mandate ends

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 4:59 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - New York state has ended its mask mandate in healthcare settings. However, not all hospitals are going mask-free.

The state’s health commissioner says a steady drop in Covid-19 cases and deaths is the reason New York stopped requiring patients, staff, and visitors at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings to wear a mask.

Now the decision is up to each facility.

In Jefferson County, Samaritan Health will continue the mask requirement at its facilities, saying Covid transmission levels in the county are high.

“We can do the very best that we can to be cautious, to treat them appropriately using precaution, and again all of us wearing our masks just helps keep everyone safe,” said Leslie DiStefano, director of communication and public relations, Samaritan Medical Center.

At Carthage Area Hospital and Claxton Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, people still need to mask up for now as hospital leaders make a decision for the future.

“We want to keep in mind the patients’ and employees’ safety at this time, so no decision has been made at the time,” said Taylour Leone, Carthage Area Hospital marketing director.

Lewis County Health System is no longer requiring anyone to wear masks at its facilities.

St. Lawrence Health System said it was preparing a statement on its policy.