ELMIRA – Due to an increase in the prevalence of respiratory illnesses, including Influenza, RSV and COVID-19, Arnot Health has announce they will be mandating the wearing of masks in certain patient care areas of their hospital campuses.
For two weeks beginning Thursday, January 4 until Thursday, January 18, employees, visitors, and volunteers in the following areas will be required to wear a mask to help protect patients and others from infection.
Areas where masks will be required include:
Inpatient Hospital Units
Skilled Nursing Units at St. Joseph’s and Ira Davenport Hospitals
Falck Cancer Center
Infusion Center at Arnot Ogden Medical Center
Staff at Arnoth health say since the end of November 2023, the number of RSV patients has been increasing in both children and adults, doubling in December. Since the first influenza-related admission on December 1, 2023, they have seen nearly 150 outpatients test positive for the flu, and 14 patients admitted to hospitals.
Also, since October 2023, the health care system reports the number of inpatients with COVID-19 has tripled.
Patients who are medically able to wear a mask will also be expected to do so, and masks will be available in all areas.
Representatives from the hospital say this action is being taken to safeguard the health of our patients, visitors, and staff, and will be re-evaluated in 14 days.