TX Healthcare Company Deploys Masking Policy

Doctors wearing face masks
Doctors wearing face masks | Image by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

A major Texas-based medical company is once again requiring all employees and patients to wear masks while in its facilities.

U.S. Renal Care (USRC) issued a memo on August 29, stating, “[R]ecent data from the CDC, local municipalities, wastewater surveillance, and health care entities demonstrate a slow but steady increase in the number of COVID cases and COVID hospitalizations.”

The company noted that the spread of new COVID-19 variants is unfolding ahead of the upcoming flu season.

“At USRC, patient and provider safety are always our highest priority,” the company said. “After consideration, we have made the decision to reinstitute required masking for providers, staff, and patients in patient care areas and other spaces shared with patients (lobbies) effective today.”

The company also encouraged its medical directors to “encourage patients and staff to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination status.”

USRC has its corporate offices in Plano and specializes in kidney diseases and related care.

“U.S. Renal Care serves more than 26,000 patients across 32 states in more than 400 facilities providing in-center and home dialysis,” according to its website.

The Dallas Express asked USRC what kind of action would be taken, if any, against individuals on its premises who declined to wear masks, but no response was received before publication.

Houston-based otolaryngologist Dr. Mary Bowden, who has resisted calls for vaccine mandates and masking requirements, shared the memo on Twitter. In a subsequent tweet, she wrote:

“Try to remember your state of mind 5 years ago. Would you ever have imagined your boss or school could require you to inject something in your body? And now this assault on bodily autonomy has been normalized. Even in Texas… where any private entity can require its members to take the COVID shot.”

While the Texas Legislature passed several laws to prevent local governments from instituting vaccine requirements, mask mandates, or business shutdowns, private entities and employers can still set such rules in many cases.

Legislation to ban vaccine mandates by private entities failed to pass in the most recent regular legislative session, leading some lawmakers to call on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special session on the matter, as reported by The Dallas Express.

At least one company operating in Texas recently threatened to call state authorities over violations of its COVID-19 safety preferences.

As covered by The Dallas Express, a pediatric clinic in Rowlett threatened to report a mother to child protective services for declining to wear a mask or make her children wear one.

Some have criticized government leaders seeking to prohibit private businesses from establishing vaccine or masking requirements.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, argued in Scientific American in 2021:

“A number of governors have issued executive orders prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates or vaccine passports. These edicts restrict private businesses, schools and [institutions of higher learning] from asking for proof of vaccination. … [V]accines not only protect the person vaccinated but also that person’s family, neighbors, and classmates or co-workers. No one has the right to go into a crowded classroom or workplace unmasked and unvaccinated. Vaccine mandates do not unethically discriminate.”

President Joe Biden and his administration have recently started urging Americans to receive more COVID-19 booster vaccinations, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article