Face Mask Policy

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Facemasks as Source Control Florida Only

Policy Statement

The facility’s policies regarding face coverings and masks will be based on recommendations from the CDC, state and local health departments, and individual facility circumstances.  The specifics of the policy will be accessible from the community website or conspicuously posted in the lobby

Policy Interpretation and Implementation

1. To address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission through droplets, universal source control consistent with current CDC guidelines is required.

2. Source control refers to the use of well-fitting cloth masks, facemasks or respirators that cover the mouth and nose and prevent the spread of respiratory secretions.

3. Everyone entering the facility is required to adhere to source control measures based on CDC’s Core IPC Practices and a community risk assessment, targeted towards higher risk areas or patient population during periods of higher levels of community transmission or other respiratory virus transmission.

4. Considerations when determining how and when to implement broader mask use include:

     a. The types of patients cared for in their facility;

     b. Input from stakeholders;

     c. Plans from other facilities in the jurisdiction with whom the facility shares patients;

     d. What data are available to make decisions;

     e. Facilities and jurisdictions might have access to more granular data for their jurisdiction to help guide efforts locally;

     f. National data on trends of several respiratory viruses.

5. When source control is recommended all personnel, residents, and visitors should be encouraged to wear facemasks.  If the individual makes the informed decision to opt out of wearing source control, they may do so unless:

     Residents: they are in the common area of the health care center and are exhibiting signs or symptoms or have been diagnosed with an infectious disease that can be spread through droplet or airborne transmission.

     Employees:  they are conducting sterile procedures, working in a sterile area, working with a resident with a compromised immune system[1], or working with a resident whose physician has determined the use of a mask is necessary for the resident’s safety because the resident is deemed at risk of transmission of an infection from an asymptomatic employee.

     Visitors:  they are coming to see a resident who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease or who has a condition affecting their underlying immune system

6. When source control is not recommended facemasks are not required except when caring for individuals who:

     a. Have a confirmed or suspected respiratory infection. This includes respiratory infections that are not COVID infections;

     b. Have had a close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection until 10 days after exposure; or

     c. Have otherwise had facemasks recommended by public health.

7. Regardless of the community risk assessment, residents and their visitors when alone in the resident’s room or in a designated visitation area, may choose not to wear face coverings or masks and may choose to have close contact (including touch).

8. If a roommate is present during the visit, it is safest for the visitor to wear a face covering or mask.

[1] Refer to CDC for the most recent definition of immunocompromised.  People with Certain Medical Conditions | CDC

If you have any questions, please contact FALA at 850-383-1159