Communications from the Chief Scientific Officer

Updated UPHS Masking Guidance Effective Monday, Jan. 8


Dear PSOM Colleagues,


Earlier today, our colleagues in the health sytem received the below communication about updates to UPHS Masking Guidelines that will be in effect beginning Monday, January 8.


We wanted to make you aware of these guidelines, determined based on trends we are seeing in both SARS CoV2 and Influenza A cases throughout the region.  We recommend masking when in crowded areas and when traversing spaces where you may encounter patients as outlined in the UPHS guidelines, in particular in:


  • Public corridors and elevators, especially with patients present
  • PCAM and Pavilion lobbies
  • First floor of Smilow
  • John Morgan hyperbaric patient area 


Masks will be available at our various entry points; at this time, masking is not mandated for sanctioned PSOM events.


Thank you.


Office of the Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer


From: On Behalf of the UPHS CMO
Subject: UPHS Managers: Please Share Updated Masking Guidance Effective Monday, Jan. 8

As cases of Influenza and COVID-19 continue to rise across our region, UPHS will continue to ensure a safe environment for the care of our patients and employees.


Masking Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

Based on the guidelines established by UPHS Epidemiologists, beginning Monday, Jan. 8, UPHS will require faculty and staff to mask in the following situations:

  • Mask during all patient care/patient-facing activities, and in all places where patients may be encountered
  • Mask at nurse stations and in waiting rooms
  • Mask when moving through hallways and lobbies

Masking continues to be REQUIRED when:

  • Any patient has respiratory symptoms (both patient and employees must mask)
  • Staff are returning to work on Days 6-10 after a mandatory five-day isolation period for COVID-19 infection. Staff must remain masked at all times while at work on Days 6-10 and should follow additional guidance provided by the PennOpen Pass team.
  • Staff have a household exposure to COVID-19. Staff should remain masked at all times while at work. Guidance on testing and masking duration will be provided by the PennOpen Pass team. LGH staff should follow guidance from Infection Control and Occupational Health.

Masks will remain optional in cafeterias, dining rooms, conference rooms, and shared non-clinical communal spaces.


Masking remains REQUIRED for patients, visitors in:

  • Emergency Department waiting rooms
  • Dedicated Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Transplant clinics
  • Infusion Centers
  • In the room of an admitted patient with a malignancy, solid organ transplant, or other severely immunocompromised condition
  • Dedicated inpatient behavioral health units
  • Open hemodialysis units
  • Any setting or encounter where a patient or family member requests that staff wear a mask


Masking will now be strongly recommended for patients and visitors upon entry, during care delivery, and in patient rooms.


Updated UPHS Masking Guidance signage for patients and visitors are available to order through AE Litho in English and Spanish. Click here to access printable versions of the signs for your unit, department or clinic. The updated masking status will remain in effect for the next two weeks. An update to these guidelines will be sent at that time. If you have any questions, please follow up with your manager, HR business partner, or your entity CMO office.


Thank you for your adherence to these guidelines and your commitment to protecting the health and safety of our patients, families, and colleagues.

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