JCHC Updates Masking Guidance

Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) is updating its masking guidance and will no longer require universal masking within its facilities. Their decision follows other area hospitals, after the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changed recommendations for masking in healthcare facilities.

“This is our next step as we move out of the pandemic,” said Bryan Hunger, JCHC CEO. “The number of cases in Southeast Iowa does not support the need for a universal mask mandate, and we are confident our existing safety measures, including screenings and masking for symptomatic individuals, will be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other infections.”

Representatives from the organization’s medical staff, senior leaders, and infection prevention staff collectively determined the health center’s new direction. Patients, staff, and visitors who exhibit symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or sore throat, will still be required to mask upon entering the facility. Individuals who have recently been exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 or influenza will also be required to mask.

Though universal masking is no longer required, patients and visitors may choose to wear a mask if they wish. JCHC also continues to recommend vaccination as the first-line defense against severe illness related to COVID-19.

“The best step you can take is to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Michael Greiner. “If you haven’t had your initial vaccines, make an appointment. If you are behind on your boosters, get them scheduled.”

JCHC Clinics offers COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, as well as the annual flu shot. To schedule an appointment, call 641-472-4156.