ARA Health Specialists is committed to supporting our community. Even as the public health emergency from the pandemic ends, the safety and wellbeing of our patients and team members remains our top priority. We continue to align our COVID-19 protocols with the CDC recommendations that protection strategies in healthcare settings should be based on the burden of COVID activity in the local community.
As of March 7, 2023, we are pleased that community levels of COVID-19 are low throughout Western North Carolina, and we are revising our COVID-19 protocols accordingly:
- Patients and visitors with respiratory symptoms are encouraged to mask while in our facilities.
- Masks will remain available at entrances for those who wish to wear one within our facility.
- Masks must still be worn around vulnerable populations (immunocompromised).
- We encourage everyone to remain up-to-date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.
- If community and case levels show evidence of increasing, COVID-19 protocols, including masking guidelines, will be heightened.
- Our team members will continue to follow the current COVID-19+ or PUI protocol for staff.
- Team members who are not feeling well or have symptoms must continue to notify their supervisor and, when appropriate, contact WorkWell. They must follow current masking protocol for returning to work.
- Team members should ask patients if they prefer a mask be worn during care activities.
- If a patient or visitor requests a member of our health care team to put on a mask while providing care, that team member should put on a mask.
- Team members may still mask if they choose to do so.
- Team members must still follow masking protocol tied to our Flu Vaccination Policies.
- Proper masking and PPE must still be worn when providing care to COVID-19+ patients and PUIs.
In addition to patients and visitors who may request that a mask be worn, we do ask all staff continue to treat your fellow caregivers who may still desire to be masked in a thoughtful manner, particularly when meeting in confined work areas. If you are not masking and a team member asks you to do so while you are in close contact, we encourage you to respectfully consider your team member's request.