UP Health System – Bell, Marquette, and Portage is urging community members to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public areas where social distancing is not easily achieved in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandated by the state of Michigan as being an effective way to prevent the spread of the illness. The hospital has already instituted a universal masking protocol within its facilities and requires anyone entering to wear a face mask at all times.
“UP Health System strongly encourages our community members to wear masks because each of us plays an important role in helping to keep our community safe and protect one another from the spread of infectious diseases,” says Gar Atchison, UP Health System Market President. “One of the easiest and most effective ways we can look out for each other and aid in the fight against COVID-19 is to wear a face mask in public spaces right now.”
Recent studies have shown that universal masking can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may be asymptomatic and unaware that they are ill. Face masks and cloth face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth, and be held securely in place with loops or ties.
“Until there is a vaccine, wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene are our best lines of defense in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Atchison says. “That’s why we’ve established a universal masking protocol in our facilities to help protect our patients, providers and employees, and we’re encouraging our fellow citizens to do the same in other public places. By looking out for each other, we’ll get through this together and continue making our community healthier.”