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Morris hospital asks employees to wear masks if not vaccinated

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

MORRIS – To provide the safest possible environment, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers has asked employees, physicians, volunteers, students and contractors who decline the flu vaccine to wear a mask during flu season, which is from Dec. 1 through March 31.

As a result, patients and visitors may notice an increased number of personnel wearing masks at the hospital and its off campus locations, including the immediate care centers, Diagnostic & Rehabilitative Center, Radiation Therapy Center, and all Healthcare Center, according to a news release from the hospital.

“We want to assure the public that the masks are nothing to be alarmed about,” Kim Landers, vice president of Patient Care Services at Morris Hospital, said in the news release. “These are individuals who have opted to wear a mask instead of getting the flu shot.”

Morris Hospital has encouraged use of the flu vaccine among employees, physicians and volunteers for many years, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

As of Nov. 18, about 91 percent of Morris Hospital employees had received the flu vaccine, compared to 69 percent last flu season, according to the news release. Hospital employees, physicians and volunteers will be able to eat meals in the cafeteria without wearing a mask.

Visitors to the hospital also are asked to maintain a safe environment by refraining from visiting when they have a cold, fever, sore throat, flu or any other signs of illness, according to the news release.

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