Staff, patients and visitors in the NHS Highland facilities will be asked to wear official Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSM) instead of any other type of face covering.
These masks are the common blue and white style coverings.
NHS Highland workers in offices outside hospitals and care homes will also be asked to wear the masks which will be provided to people who don’t have them.
Rules around masks in facilities are decided by each individual health board based on
The Highlands has seen an upsurge in the deadly virus with eight Covid patients in intensive care in the area.
And two deaths have recently been confirmed in Highland care homes.
A statement from NHS Highland tonight read: “With Covid-19 more prevalent here than previously, and the new more transmissible variant present, NHS Highland has updated its guidance on face coverings and masks.
“Having taken advice from Infection Control we are now asking that staff, patients and visitors in all hospital and care settings should now use Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSM) instead of face coverings. FRSMs will be provided.
“With immediate effect all visitors, patients and staff should put on an FRSM rather than a face covering when coming into the care facility.
“This guidance also applies to all non-clinical / patient-facing staff when it is not possible for them to physically distance from colleagues within offices or moving between departments.
“Staff who work in non-clinical shared office spaces should also ensure they are using an FRSM.
“We would also continue to encourage hand hygiene, this is particularly important when handling face coverings and masks.
“Further information is available online in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM).”