In early 2023, the Northwest Healthcare Response Network convened subject matter experts from across western Washington to discuss the April 3, 2023, removal of the Secretary of Health Mask Order requiring universal masking in healthcare, long-term care, and adult correctional facilities for people aged 5 years and older. Healthcare organizations in our region began working together to establish an approach for continued masking in healthcare facilities in response to the end of the Mask Order.

An overarching consensus statement was released on March 24, 2023, that informed each organization’s individual policies and procedures related to the continued protection of employees and patients.

Participating organizations across the region have continued to review their policies and procedures and adjust if needed, balancing community disease transmission rates and operational needs in order to support staff and patient safety, and patient care, while also adhering to local, state and federal guidance.

To read the full update, click here.

“The ongoing collaboration among regional health care and public health leaders since the initial consensus statement underscores a commitment to the safety of patients, staff and the most vulnerable populations in our communities. Collectively, we continue to learn and adapt based on lessons from COVID-19, and work together to navigate the uncertainty that lies ahead from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. It is critical that we continue to evaluate the changing landscape, monitor disease trends among respiratory illnesses and implement policies based on science and best practice. We appreciate the leadership and expertise of our public health, infectious disease, infection prevention and other clinical leaders as we plan together for this fall. Working together in coalition as health care and public health leaders helps us strengthen our communities, our partnerships and improve our resilience towards future emergencies or disasters.” – Onora Lien, Executive Director, Northwest Healthcare Response Network

Media inquiries about the Northwest Healthcare Response Network please contact (monitored during business hours).

Please contact healthcare facilities directly for media inquiries or statements regarding their organizational involvement or masking policies.