Valencia Health Authority re-introduce the use of masks in health centres due to the rise in respiratory infections

  • This preventive measure is considered pertinent to the incidence in the Valencian Community, with a rate of 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • The aim is to stop contagion and protect vulnerable people.
  • The Ministry reminds people that health centres will vaccinate against the flu and COVID-19 from next Monday 8th January 2024 without the need for a prior appointment.
  •  It is considered relevant to establish the mandatory use of masks in health and socio-health centers in the following situations:-
  • – Symptomatic people when they are in shared spaces
  • – Professionals who treat symptomatic cases
  • – People who work in intensive care units and units with vulnerable patients
  • – In hospital emergencies or primary care
  • – In places where patients and relatives are concentrated (primary care waiting rooms, hospital consultations etc…).

Likewise, the instruction adds that in the rest of the situations that are generally intended to protect people considered vulnerable, the management of the health departments, based on their own protocols and on the recommendations of the Preventive Medicine services , may establish the mandatory use of a mask in addition to the established indications, depending on the epidemiological situation and the particular structural and functional characteristics of their dependent centers.

Vaccination without an appointment

Health centres will administer doses of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines from next Monday, January 8 without the need for a prior appointment, in order to promote the immunization of the population against the upsurge of respiratory infections. 

Likewise, the Ministry has adopted a series of special care measures in response to the rise in respiratory infections specific to this winter period.

These measures were agreed at the meeting held this Wednesday between the Minister of Health, Marciano Gómez, the director of the Office of Coordination and Sociosanitary Integration of the Valencian Community, Manuel Escolano, and representatives of the general directions of Hospital Care and Economic Management, Contracting and Infrastructures.

In this way, the aforementioned meeting addressed the problems that arise year after year in the face of seasonal peaks of special care demand such as the current one or those expected to occur in the coming weeks.

Among these agreed measures is the adjustment of the programming of the surgical activity in order to generate spaces to meet the demand, and depending on the context of each hospital, for a greater efficiency of the existing resources.

Other measures are to enhance home care services and to establish the maximum level of collaboration with the Ministry of Social Services, Equality and Housing, and to aid hospitalisation in homes for the elderly in cases in which this resource is suitable; as well as the reallocation and prioritisation of social resources.

Finally, in the case of needing the collaboration of private resources and, with the aim of reducing as much as possible any healthcare tension that could be recorded, a framework of public-private collaboration will also be sought.

In addition, the Minister of Health, Marciano Gómez, announced that he will meet next week with the managers of the health departments of the Valencian Community to analyse the implementation of these measures.

Source: Press release from Valencian Government on 5th January 2024.