Mercy Hospital responds to backlash over new masking policy

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Mercy Hospital in Springfield is responding to feedback on its new masking and policy.

As of January 3rd, the Springfield hospital is no longer allowing cloth masks inside the hospital. A level 2 droplet mask (a medical grade mask) or higher grade will be required. Anyone who does not have a mask will be provided with one at the door.

On Tuesday, Chief Administrative Officer Erik Frederick of Mercy Springfield tweeted that some patients and visitors are unhappy with the new rules and some are behaving rudely toward front door screeners.

In an interview, Frederick expanded on his tweet, saying, “Right now, Everyone has gotten used to wearing their cloth masks, but you know from day one there’s been a lot of people that haven’t liked wearing masks and I can assure you that the those of us that have to wear them 8, 10, 12 plus hours a day, we probably, we would like to not have to wear them also, but it’s the reality is. We work in a health care facility. We have vulnerable populations in the health care facility.”

He continued to explain that those screening visitors and patients at the front doors are volunteers, not paid employees. These volunteer screeners are no longer taking temperatures at the door.

“These volunteers of ours, as many hospitals in our country have incredible volunteers, they give up their time selflessly to stay engaged, and often they have a connection to the health system. That means a lot to them, so to be here filling a very, very critical role for us is important to them, and so now we have them back and we’re at the front doors. They really don’t deserve to get that angry person at the front door that that just doesn’t agree with the masking policy,” says Frederick.

An earlier version of this story did not make clear level 2 droplet masks are acceptable and did not include information that people who need one will be provided a mask at the door. The visitor policy has not changed since June. OzarksFirst regrets this omittance.

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