To best protect the health of patients and employees and to further minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, five local hospital systems in the Chattanooga area will continue to require masking in their facilities for all visitors and employees of the health systems. CHI Memorial, Parkridge Health System, Rhea Medical Center, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, and Tennenova Healthcare - Cleveland all continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and their facial covering protocols will remain in place.
The CDC recently updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people, but emphasized that guidance does not apply in healthcare settings. The CDC continues to recommend “visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear a well-fitting cloth mask, facemask, or respirator for source control” when in a healthcare facility.
Local hospitalizations and deaths have dropped significantly since peaking in December and January, but new cases continue to be diagnosed daily in our communities. In addition, these health systems provide care daily to people at high-risk of complications if they contract the COVID-19 virus, like those with diabetes, heart and lung problems, and those undergoing cancer treatment.
As we remain focused on protecting each other, we strongly encourage everyone age 12 and older to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available at no charge throughout the region. Together, we can help make our communities safer.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, check the social media channels and websites of each health system and of local health departments.