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UPMC will require masks at all facilities starting Dec. 20

UPMC Falk Medical Building with woman walking inside.
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

UPMC is asking all of its patients to begin wearing masks at all of its facilities starting Dec. 20.

The Pittsburgh-based healthcare provider released a statement saying that they’ve seen an increase in respiratory viruses, including COVID, flu and RSV.

“To protect the health and safety of our employees, patients and visitors, everyone in our health care facilities will wear effective masks which reduce transmission of respiratory viruses in health care settings,” according to a statement by a UPMC spokesperson.

UPMC says they will monitor the number of cases they are seeing and adjust their requirements and protocols as necessary.

The health care system had lifted its previous mask mandate in May.

The Allegheny County Health Department reported that there have been more than 1,200 cases of the flu as of the beginning of December, including two that required hospitalization. That’s well above the number of flu cases diagnosed during the first two years of the COVID-pandemic, but well below the more than 8,400 cases reported last year by the beginning of December, including 25 hospitalizations.

Oliver Morrison is a general assignment reporter at WESA. He previously covered education, environment and health for PublicSource in Pittsburgh and, before that, breaking news and weekend features for the Wichita Eagle in Kansas.