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Changes in Masking Requirements at Sauk Prairie Healthcare - Shawn Lerch

I am happy to share some extremely positive information. Sauk Prairie Healthcare will move from mask requirements for patients, visitors, and team members, to making all areas of Sauk Prairie Healthcare mask optional on Monday, February 6.

This decision is supported by medical professionals who closely monitor COVID-19 activity in our region. Transmission levels - one of the key metrics monitored, has continued to decrease and remains well below the high threshold. Hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 are also low.

Starting Monday, patients will have the option to wear a mask or elect not to. Of important note - masks are still required when you are seeking care due to cold, flu, RSV or covid symptoms. There will be updated signage throughout our facilities reminding people when and where to mask.

Please know, your safety is always our first priority, and we want everyone to feel comfortable. Patients have the right to ask their care team to wear a mask during their visit and we will happily do so.

We also ask that all patients and visitors who choose not to wear a mask be up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine. This is based on CDC recommendation and strong research demonstrating the effectiveness and protection offered by the bivalent vaccine against omicron strains. Research has shown, the vaccine may not prevent from becoming infected, but it does protect against severity of illness and hospitalization.

I also ask each of you to remember that we care for your family, friends, and neighbors, many who are dealing with serious health conditions. Following these new guidelines are important to support the care of our communities.

Our team will continue to monitor the situation and should the decision to move back to universal masking we will be sure to update all communications and work with you upon arrival to understand any changes.

Thank you for placing your trust in the extraordinary team at Sauk Prairie Healthcare to provide safe, high-quality care that is personalized to your needs. We remain committed to this shared expectation.