For community safety and to limit the spread of COVID-19 by those who may carry the disease without knowing, or those who have the virus but are not yet showing symptoms, Adena Health System now requires every employee, patient and visitor to wear a mask while in any of its facilities. This universal masking requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recent recommendation that everyone entering a health care facility, regardless of symptoms, wear a mask.
“As we all learn to live with the threat of COVID-19 in our daily lives, protecting ourselves and others when we can’t stay at home is essential in maintaining health,” said Adena Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, M.D. “The use of a facemask – along with physical distancing, covering our cough and good hand hygiene – is one more layer of protection in keeping ourselves and others as safe as possible from the coronavirus.”
Tucker added, “Along with screening staff, patients and visitors for fever and symptoms when they arrive at one of Adena’s locations, facemasks are now required and being provided upon entry – while maintaining supply for our clinical caregivers. Adopting this universal masking practice is just one more layer of protection against the spread of respiratory illness, and keeping everyone in our locations and communities as safe as possible.”
Facemasks are available for anyone entering an Adena hospital or clinic location. However, patients and visitors are encouraged to wear their own facemask if they have one. A personal facemask must be in good condition, meaning it should be clean and should fit well. Each patient or visitor must wear a mask for the duration of their visit when outside of their exam room or in communal settings such as hallways and waiting areas. If a personal mask appears to be in less than good condition, a replacement mask may be required for the visit.
To help in this effort, many more masks are now needed for Adena to maintain the number of medical-grade masks required for its front line and clinical caregivers. To help meet this increased need for facemasks for all patients and visitors, the health system is looking for community help through donations of homemade masks. Adena has set a goal to receive 10,000 homemade facemasks. Those in the region are being asked to help Adena meet that goal to help keep our communities healthy and safe.
To learn more about how to make a mask, or how to donate, visit adena.org/10000masks. For the most up to date COVID-19 specific information, and updates related to Adena operations and services, visit adena.org/COVID19.
Submitted by Jason Gilham, communications manager, Adena Health System.