Updates to our face mask requirements and meeting and gathering guidelines – The Loop – University of Iowa Health Care

We are seeing an increase of COVID-19 infections due to the higher transmission rates of the omicron variant. To keep our teams safe and able to care for Iowans who need us, we are making several changes to our safety and personal protective equipment guidelines.

Starting Monday, Jan. 10, you will be required to wear a medical-grade face mask at all UI Health Care locations. 

  • Medical-grade face masks will be required at all times for employees who directly or indirectly support patient care or patient care operations, no matter their vaccination status, except while alone in a private office or when eating/drinking. Employees will no longer be permitted to wear cloth face coverings of any kind, unless used in addition to a medical-grade mask.
    • Employees who provide care to patients with COVID-19 or those who are under investigation for COVID-19 (PUI) must wear an N95 respirator and eye protection. View additional safety and PPE guidelines here.
  • Medical-grade face masks will be readily available in all facilities and at all entrances.
  • UI Health Care patients and visitors continue to be required to wear a mask at all times. We will also be strongly encouraging visitors to wear medical-grade face masks during their visit.

Food and eating

Avoid eating together and sharing food with your colleagues, including individually packaged items. Try to stagger eating times to avoid crowded breakrooms and use available plexiglass dividers when eating.

On- and off-site gatherings and events

Consider using virtual meeting options like Zoom when meeting in person is not necessary. If you do meet in person, gatherings should not be larger than 25 people and should not occur in spaces that do not permit social distancing (six feet between meeting participants). Food and drinks should not be consumed during meetings but may be ordered for participants to take with them at the end of the meeting, if desired.

UI Health Care sponsored/affiliated gatherings are strongly discouraged and if held, must meet the criteria outlined above.

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