Happy Memorial Day Weekend

All MD Now urgent care locations are open
on Memorial Day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Find a Clinic

Florida Facial Covering Policy

PURPOSE:  

The purpose of this policy is to specify under what circumstances patients, visitors, and employees must comply with facial covering requirements and if/when opt out provisions may apply. This policy is in alignment with Florida Rule 59AER23-2 “Standards for the Appropriate Use of Facial Coverings for Infection Control” and in accordance with the “Florida Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” section 381.026 F.S.  This policy is specific to facial coverings. Employees will refer to their facility Standard and Transmission-Based Isolation policy/guidance for complete PPE recommendations.

DEFINITIONS:

Standard precautions – Standard precautions are applied to the care of all patients in all healthcare settings, regardless of the suspected or confirmed presence of an infectious agent. Blood, all body fluids (except sweat), secretions and excretions, mucous membranes and non-intact skin of all patients are treated as potentially infectious.

Transmission-Based Precautions:

Airborne Precautions – Airborne precautions are to be used for patients who are known or suspected of being infected or colonized with organisms that are transmitted by airborne droplets nuclei that can remain suspended and be dispersed over long distances via air currents.

Droplet Precautions – Droplet precautions are to be used for patients who are known or suspected of being infected or colonized with organisms that are transmitted by large droplets that are generated by the patients via coughing, sneezing, and respiratory tract procedures.

Employee – Any person under employment or contract in a healthcare setting, including healthcare practitioners, administrative staff, maintenance staff, aides, contractors, students, and volunteers.

Facial Covering – Cloth or surgical face mask, a face shield, or any other facial covering that covers the mouth and nose.

POLICY: To ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees, facial coverings will be required under special circumstances, such as risk for infectious disease transmission. This policy is in alignment with Florida Rule 59AER23-2 “Standards for the Appropriate Use of Facial Coverings for Infection Control” and the “Florida Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” section 381.026 F.S.

Facial covering recommendations will be reassessed in collaboration with state, regional and national recommendations if there is a community or regional outbreak. 

PROCEDURE: The chart below provides information on when the healthcare setting may choose to require a patient, visitor, or employee to wear a facial covering and if/when opt out provisions may apply. 

Role Facial Covering RequiredOpt Out If
Patient
  • In a common area of the health care setting and is exhibiting signs or symptoms of or has a diagnosed infectious disease that can be spread through droplet or airborne transmission
  • Patient cannot tolerate facial covering. Alternatives may include, but are not limited to: Employees wearing mask when in close contact with patient or physical distancing
Visitor
  • Exhibiting signs or symptoms of or has a diagnosed infectious disease that can be spread through droplet or airborne transmission

  • In sterile areas of the health care setting or an area where sterile procedures are being performed

  • In an in-patient or clinical room with a patient who is exhibiting signs or symptoms of or has a diagnosed infectious disease that can be spread through droplet or airborne transmission

  • Visiting a patient whose treating health care practitioner has diagnosed the patient with or confirmed a condition affecting the immune system in a manner which is known to increase risk of transmission of an infection from persons without signs or symptoms of infection to a patient and whose treating practitioner has determined that the use of facial coverings is necessary for the patient’s safety
  • An alternative method of infection control or infectious disease prevention is available. Examples may include, but are not limited to: deferring visit until symptoms resolve, virtual visit, physical distancing, and stepping out of area during sterile process or procedure
Colleagues, including contracted and credentialed physicians and employees

(For purposes of this guidance, “Employee” refers to any person under employment or contract of a health care setting, including health care practitioners, administrative staff, maintenance staff, aides, contractors, students, and volunteers.)
  • Conducting sterile procedures

  • Working in a sterile area

  • Working with a patient whose treating health care practitioner has diagnosed the patient with or confirmed a condition affecting the immune system in a manner which is known to increase risk of transmission of an infection from employees without signs or symptoms of infection to a patient and whose treating practitioner has determined that the use of facial coverings is necessary for the patient’s safety

  • With a patient on droplet or airborne isolation

  • Engaging in non-clinical potentially hazardous activities that require facial coverings to prevent physical injury or harm in accordance with industry standards
  • N/A

REFERENCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings, 2007.

Florida Rule 59AER23-2 “Standards for the Appropriate Use of Facial Coverings for Infection Control,” 2023

“Florida Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” section 381.026 F.S.

×