Samaritan Announces Mask-Optional in Walker Center for Cancer Care

Watertown, NY – As of April 11, 2024, the Walker Center for Cancer Care will return to mask-optional for all staff, patients, and visitors under certain criteria. This decision comes after closely watching transmission levels of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, declining COVID-19 hospitalization and infection rates, and other supporting indicators. If any of these metrics have an uptick, the Walker Center for Cancer Care could return to wearing facemasks.

At this time, the following use of facemasks will be asked of patients, staff, and visitors:

  • In the Emergency Department (ED), all visitors and patients are asked to mask in this location when not in a private room. 
  • In the Samaritan Keep Home and Samaritan Summit Village due to long term care requirements.

Patients, visitors and/or healthcare personnel are to follow masking practices per unit/department when specifically indicated. For the health and safety of the community, we reserve the right to require any patient in any area who has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or COVID-19 to wear a facemask as per Samaritan practices. 

Visitors who are not feeling well, have symptoms of fever, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea, or have been in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 cannot visit patients or accompany patients to appointments.