Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) has strengthened its COVID-19 screening process to require all staff, patients and visitors to wear face masks when on site.

The updated policy is in line with the latest health advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the recommendation for regional communities.

AWH Executive Director of Pandemic Response, Sally Squire said much of the workforce had already been wearing masks and face shields in environments where it was hard to maintain physical distance, and now the health service was extending that policy to staff, patients and visitors.

“All staff, patients and visitors are now required to wear a single use disposable face mask inside all Albury Wodonga Health campuses,” Ms Squire said.

“This is another proactive step we’re taking to keep our community and staff safe and we appreciate everybody’s cooperation and understanding.

“For people with breathing difficulties or other medical reasons that cannot wear a face mask, they will be provided with a face shield as applicable.

“Single use surgical face masks will be distributed as part of the visitor screening process that is required to enter AWH facilities.”

The DHHS says the use of face masks in regional communities is recommended when outside the home if 1.5 metres physical distance cannot be maintained.

How to wear a surgical mask when visiting AWH:

• Use hand sanitiser or wash hands before and after putting on or taking off a mask

• Replace mask if it becomes damaged, damp or contaminated

• Masks to be worn for 4 hours only then must be replaced with a new mask

• If a mask is removed it must be disposed

• Do not touch the front of the mask whilst wearing or when putting on or removing

• Ensure mask covers both your mouth and nose

• Do not pull your mask down to talk or drink

• Do not wear your mask around your neck or below your nose.

For more information on how to wear a face mask, visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-covid-19

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