Masks back in force at Perth hospitals as COVID cases grow

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An increase in COVID-19 cases across Perth will see staff and patients in parts of Perth hospital required to wear masks again from Monday.

Anyone in high-risk hospital clinical areas including haematology, oncology, organ transplant and renal dialysis and intensive care units will need to wear a surgical mask.

Masks are back.Credit: Matt Davidson

WA’s Chief Health Officer Dr Andy Robertson said COVID-19 cases had been increasing since early September, with the Omicron XBB variant EG.5 circulating.

“It’s an expected part of the ongoing evolution of COVID-19 in the community as people’s immunity wanes over time,” he said.

“Given the increase in COVID hospitalisations and health staff off sick, health service providers have agreed on consistent mask recommendations across our public health system.”

The latest Health Department data shows cases increased 14 per cent in one week.

In the week ending November 12 there were 531 COVID-19 cases reported, 57 new hospital admissions and four people were admitted into intensive care.

Four people, with a median age of 80, died.

Dr Robertson has also advised private hospitals and aged care facilities across WA to consider strengthening mask-wearing requirements for staff and visitors.

“COVID is very much still with us and my advice for the community remains the same – stay home if you are sick and do not visit high-risk settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals if you have cold or flu symptoms,” he said.

“Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings or where physical distancing is not possible and get a booster COVID-19 vaccination – particularly if you have complex health issues or are over 65.”

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