Last week Bothwell Regional Health Center quietly changed its policy regarding masks for patients and visitors in their hospital and clinics. Yet, the reason for the policy change is rather surprising. It all has to do with employee safety.

According to a Facebook post, Bothwell Regional Health Center is saying they have made wearing masks optional for patients and visitors at the hospital and in their clinics. Bothwell Regional Health says they made this change after they started seeing more incidents of aggressive behavior in the hospital and clinics due to the mask mandate. Additionally, the provider is concerned about patients avoiding care due to the health provider's mask policy.

So, Bothwell Regional Health Center's official policy is that masks are encouraged, yet not required for most patients and visitors in their facilities in the interest of workplace safety. Of course, patients and visitors will be asked to wear a mask if they have or suspect they have COVID-19, influenza, another respiratory illness, or are exhibiting symptoms like a fever or a cough.

Those visiting a hospitalized patient with COVID-19, influenza, or other respiratory illnesses will be asked to continue to wear a mask, as well as other personal protective equipment like gowns, and goggles.

As for employees, physicians, vendors, and affiliates, they are still required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status when directly providing patient care.

I'm shocked that anyone would get aggressive over being asked to wear a mask in a healthcare facility. While it's not the most pleasant experience, I get it, and it doesn't seem worth getting worked up over it. Especially if it keeps employees and other patients and visitors healthy.

Yet, some people seem to want to give those caring for their health a hard time over it, even though you can go almost anywhere else in Sedalia without a mask. Yet, I guess that's why people get their panties in a wad over the policy to start with. Someone asking them to consider someone else's health and wellness over their own comfort.

Personally, I think Bothwell Regional Health Center's mask policy, encouraging the use of masks by all, while only requiring those who may have some type of respiratory illness makes sense. It's the way it should be. 'Cause, no one should have to sit next to a maskless Typhoid Mary with a phlegmy cough while waiting to see a doctor.

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