Mandatory masks are back at Montreal's CHUM, centre-west health board

The mandatory mask rules at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal will take effect on Monday.  (Charles Contant/CBC - image credit)
The mandatory mask rules at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal will take effect on Monday. (Charles Contant/CBC - image credit)

The Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and the regional health board for the city's centre-west region are bringing back mandatory mask rules.

The rule, which applies to both staff and visitors, took effect on Friday at every facility of the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal. That includes the Montreal Jewish General Hospital.

The mask rules will take effect at the CHUM on Monday.

According to an internal memo at the CHUM obtained by Radio-Canada, the mandatory mask rule is being brought back "given the level of circulation for the COVID-19 virus, the growing presence of respiratory viruses and the increasing number of employees testing positive, which is a reflection of the level of contamination in the community."

The mask rule for the CHUM applies to patient rooms or anywhere in the facility where care is provided.

Last April, the Quebec government announced that masking was no longer mandatory in health-care settings, though it did say regional health boards and health-care facilities could bring back the rule if they deemed it necessary.

In recent days, the masking rules have been brought back in several health-care facilities in the province, including hospitals, clinics and long-term care homes in the Eastern Townships.

On Wednesday, Quebec City's health centre, known as the CHU de Québec, also imposed the wearing of masks by both hospital staff and patients during medical examinations as well as in consultation rooms.

CBC News reached out to the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, the health board that covers the centre-south section of the city, and asked if it was bringing back mandatory masking rules. For now, masking rules will remain the same, a spokesperson said.

On Thursday, Quebec announced its plan to roll out updated vaccines for COVID-19 as well a shot for the flu this fall.