A local Hudson Valley hospital is reportedly reintroducing an updated mask policy this week.

COVID Cases on The Rise in New York State

While COVID never went away, rules slowly started to loosen, including mandatory masks. We saw businesses, airports, and hospitals all make wearing a mask optional.

In early August of this year, there was a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, according to the New York State Department of Health. Hudson Valley Post explained that there was a 55% increase in COVID cases on August 7th and that the NYS Department of Health said, "However, it's important to note that most cases are not reported, so hospitalizations are a more reliable indicator. There are currently no concerns with hospital bed capacity," the New York State Department of Health states. "There are currently no concerns with hospital bed capacity."

Read More: COVID Returns To New York State, Alarming Number Of New Cases

With that being said, they added that "numbers are still low compared to the height of the pandemic."

Do rising numbers mean we will head back to wearing masks wherever we go? That has yet to be seen, but one hospital in the area is reportedly taking precautions to keep their employees safe.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center, 2019/Google Maps
Vassar Brothers Medical Center, 2019/Google Maps

Masks Are Back at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie?

Last week, we started to hear rumblings of the mask policy return after a listener reached out and told us while they were visiting family at Vassar Brothers, nurses told them to be prepared to wear masks in the near future.

On Saturday, August 26th, the Facebook account Eastern Dutchess County Fire and Rescue, which is used to share up-to-date fire calls and emergencies, posted that Vassar Brothers Medical Center would be requiring masks for everyone starting on August 29th.

It should come as no surprise the comment section was entangled in heated debates, but one of the most asked questions was a simple "why?" And it looks like there are some possible answers flying around. We obtained a screenshot from an email sent out to employees of Vassar Brothers Medical Center explaining the mask policy:


We reached out to Vassar Brothers Medical Center and are awaiting a comment. As of August 29th, 2023 at 10 a.m., no announcement has been made regarding a new mask policy and nothing has been added to their website or social media.

We will update this story as more information comes in.

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