MILWAUKEE — Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is now requiring everyone in their facilities to wear medical-grade face masks at all times.
According to their website, if you do not have a medical-grade face mask, one will be provided before you enter facilities. The hospitals issued the new policy amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant this winter.
The hospitals describe a medical-grade face mask as a one-time use surgical mask regulated by the FDA under 21 CFR 878.4040. The masks have proven to be more effective at preventing respiratory droplets from spreading and offer some protection to the wearer.
The new mask policy applies to patients, visitors and staff. Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin's website states:
"While cloth masks remain an option for the general public, this requirement provides a standardization of what our patients and staff are wearing in our facilities. It ensures that all masks have at least two or three layers, as recommended by CDC, and have a nose wire to help conform the mask to one’s face for a better fit. With cloth masks and other face coverings, there may be gaps in protection related to the number of layers and the fit."
The hospitals also changed their visitor policy, restricting visitation for some patients. View the revised policy on their website.
Earlier this week the Milwaukee VA Medical Center announced cloth masks are no longer allowed, and patients and staff must wear medical-grade cough, surgical, procedural or N95/KN95 masks.