I’ve almost repressed the memory of daily mask-wearing. It never felt normal or natural to me and I’m thankful every day that part of our lives is behind us. But every few months when I go to a doctor’s appointment I’m caught off guard by the need to put a mask on. In some circumstances I get it. But when I’m at the dentist and he’s about to be all in my mouth then why am I wearing it to wait by myself in the room? And at the eye doctor? Those lenses fog up constantly with a mask on. But the good news is that the major healthcare companies are saying goodbye to the mask requirement at most doctors offices in North Carolina.
Yesterday, Atrium Health, Novant Health, and others released statements resending the mandates.
Atrium Health: After careful consideration and extensive review of scientific data, medical leaders at Atrium Health have decided to discontinue mandatory masking in many of its health care settings where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is minimal. There are still areas and circumstances where masking will be required.
Novant Health: On March 28 at 7 a.m., all Novant Health facilities will lift universal masking requirements for patients, visitors and team members. The decision to make masks optional was made in collaboration with other regional systems, including Atrium Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, CaroMont Health, Cone Health and Randolph Health. As encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season, everyone should consider their personal risk when considering masking. Patients may request their care teams wear masks during treatment and clinic visits.
I expect smaller private practice offices to follow suit as well. This includes the afore mentioned dentists and ophthalmologists. Of course, patients still have the option to wear a mask at any appointment they choose to do so. They will also be required in the presence of respiratory symptoms or around high-risk patients. But this is good news as some of the last requirements are gone. I know I certainly haven’t carried one with me in over a year, so it’s always a pain to have to ask at an appointment. Do you agree with the ending of the mask requirement at doctors offices in North Carolina? Or will you still be choosing to wear one?