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Coronavirus (COVID-19): extended use of face masks and face coverings in hospitals, primary care and wider community healthcare

Guidance for staff within acute hospitals, community hospitals, primary care and wider community healthcare, together with advice for visitors, including those attending for an appointment.

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General guidance

In summary, all individuals accessing care as a) an outpatient are strongly recommended to wear a face covering (unless they have an existing medical condition which prevents this), and b) as an inpatient in hospital or resident in an adult community residential healthcare setting (excluding care homes) receiving direct care or in a communal area should be strongly encouraged to wear a FRSM. For people who lack capacity, a discussion should take place with their legal guardian or a family member.

Staff should continue to wear appropriate PPE (including a FRSM) when providing direct care in line with the Scottish Winter (21/22) Respiratory Infections in Health and Care Settings Addendum and ensure other IPC measures, such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are observed and that ventilation is safely optimised wherever possible.

In NHS Scotland, FRSMs should be made available to all inpatients and residents in residential adult healthcare settings (excluding care homes). As outlined above, guidance on inpatient mask wearing is also included within the Scottish COVID-19 Addendum.

Separate guidance has been issued for adult social care building-based day services, which outlines that supported people using the service do not need to wear face coverings or masks.

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