Should workers in nursing homes be required to continue wearing N95 masks?

In accordance with the regulations set forth by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), healthcare workers in nursing homes who do not have their COVID-19 vaccinations brought up to date are required to wear a N95 mask that has been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) during periods of substantial and high transmission (more than 50/100,000 cases per 100,000 persons). In nursing homes, all healthcare professionals, regardless of whether or not they have received vaccinations, should wear procedural or N95 surgical masks in areas where residents are present, regardless of the community transmission rates.

Should those living in nursing homes be required to continue wearing masks?

Residents are encouraged to protect themselves against the spread of disease by donning masks in public spaces. The use of masking is an efficient technique for lowering the transmission of COVID-19. People of advanced age and those with impaired immune systems who reside in settings designed for communal care have an increased likelihood of contracting an infection or a severe disease. Vaccines are extremely useful in lessening the severity of an illness and lowering the chance of infection or transfer; nevertheless, they do not completely remove either danger.

Should it still be required for visitors to nursing homes to wear masks?
At this time, visitors to nursing homes are expected to wear face masks during their time there. On May 10, 2022, this regulation is scheduled to become invalid. After this date, visitors should continue to keep a physical distance from this community and wear K95 masks during their visits due to the increased risk of serious sickness among this demographic.

Is immunization of those who work in healthcare in nursing homes a mandatory requirement?

It is mandatory for everyone working in healthcare to have all of their COVID-19 vaccinations up to date. If a healthcare worker chooses not to get vaccinated for any reason, they are required to wear an NIOSH-approved N95 mask during periods of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission (greater than or equal to 50 cases per 100,000 persons per week, as reported by RIDOH) in accordance with RIDOH regulations. This is the case even if the healthcare worker does not work in an area where there is a high risk of exposure to the virus.


2 thoughts on “Should workers in nursing homes be required to continue wearing N95 masks?

  1. D.W.Murphy says:

    Good article. Thanks. Let me add my two cents. I’ve used N95 respirators for years. If you’re going to wear the mask for more than an hour, get ones with the exhalation valve. You will breathe a lot easier. Get masks with NIOSH ratings, or just wrap a t-shirt across your face. Those cheap single strap ones?

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