The Fourth Amended Public Health Order 20-38 was released yesterday. 

This new order does not change the requirement for masks for those that are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated in healthcare settings.

Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated personnel, patients and visitors must continue to wear a mask.

This order also states that unvaccinated personnel must wear a medical grade mask while unvaccinated patients and visitors can continue wearing a face covering.

There is new language in this order, referring to settings that serve at-risk or vulnerable populations. This new language does not change our interpretation of the order. The specified settings are part of the rationale as to why the mask requirement is not arbitrary (if someone were to challenge it).

1. Face coverings are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, residents, and visitors, and medical grade face masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff in the following settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations:
a. Homeless shelters;
b. Prisons;
c. Jails; and
d. Emergency medical and other healthcare settings (including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, urgent care centers, clinics, doctors’ offices, and non-urgent care medical structures).

As always, if your local Public Health Department has a more restrictive health order in place, practices should follow that order.