Methodist Joins Leading Nebraska Health Systems in Updating Masking RequirementsPublished: March 27, 2023
From Boys Town, Bryan Health, CHI Health, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, Methodist Health System and Nebraska Medicine
For three years, our health systems, medical centers and clinics have coordinated the care for hundreds of thousands of people from across the region who contracted COVID-19. We also participated in regional consortiums and treated patients from surrounding states. Collegiality and leaning on the experience and capacity of each organization was vital during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues today.
The virus causing COVID-19 and the treatment of patients experiencing complications from prior COVID-19 infection are still with us and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future. However, we are now in a much different place.
We know more, and we have vaccines that are extremely safe and effective in preventing serious disease and death. We now have oral medications that help prevent progression of disease. We are better suited to treat patients with COVID-19, and they are consuming less intensive care resources. We are also experiencing less employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 infection.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to end the Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023. This change in status will impact U.S. health care policies and practices for many COVID-19 related services.
By April 3, 2023, wearing masks will be optional in most areas of all of our health systems, medical centers and clinics. CHI Health lifted masking requirements on March 20.
Each of our health systems and medical centers have different capabilities and expertise for treating complex health conditions and diverse patient populations, so patients can expect some variation. For instance, masking requirements will remain in effect on units or areas that necessitated wearing of masks and protective equipment prior to the pandemic. We will also respect requests of our patients, and our teams will wear masks if requested.
We ask for your understanding if conditions change and we need to reinstate preventative and required protective measures. We advise everyone to stay up to date on COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations and boosters.
The immense challenges everyone faced over the last three years was met through collaborations – across health systems and with the public. Collectively, we saved countless lives, prevented and treated severe illness, and witnessed incredible compassion from our teams that cared for patients and families. We thank and acknowledge the communities we serve for supporting us and doing what they could to inform the public and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.