Atrium Health Updates Masking and Visitor Policies

03.20.2024 Atrium Health News

Steady decline in respiratory viral illnesses prompt changes

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 20, 2024 – After observing a steady decrease in respiratory virus cases, Atrium Health is lifting visitor restrictions and modifying masking policies. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, restrictions limiting visitors aged 12 and under will be removed at Charlotte-area Atrium Health hospitals. Also, masking will be optional in all Atrium Health facilities except for specific areas where higher levels of infection prevention are needed. These may include units where cancer patients and others with low immunity are being treated, as well as emergency department waiting rooms and triage areas. Masks will still be made available for anyone who chooses to wear one.

Cases of respiratory illnesses may be down for several reasons which include vaccinations, increased awareness and hygiene practice, as well as seasonal factors,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti, vice president and chief epidemiologist for Atrium Health.While we celebrate this progress, we must remain vigilant and responsive to any potential changes in the situation. Our focus remains on providing safe and effective care to all patients and this decision is a testament to our collective efforts in combating infectious diseases."

To reduce the chances of getting sick, including respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, flu or RSV, health care leaders recommend good hand hygiene including frequent handwashing with soap and warm water or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with your hands and stay home if you don’t feel well. Atrium Health continues to encourage all patients, teammates and the community to stay up to date with all recommended COVID-19, flu, RSV and other vaccines recommended by your health care provider.

Atrium Health is joining with other regional hospitals to lift the restrictions at the same time, to help prevent confusion among the public.