Adventist Health join nation's hospitals in urging citizens to wear masks to fight COVID-19

Adventist Health join nation's hospitals in urging citizens to wear masks to fight COVID-19

Adventist Health, including its hospital in Hanford, has joined 100 of the nation’s top healthcare systems, representing thousands of hospitals in communities across the U.S., to unite with an urgent plea for all Americans to mask up because wearing a face mask is the nation’s best chance at slowing the spread of the virus.

The health networks insist that face masks can slow the trend amidst the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases – and deaths. In other words, national health officials say masks work.

“People we love in our communities, and their families, are being affected every day by the novel coronavirus pandemic,” says Andrea Kofl, president of Adventist Health in the Central Valley. “Let’s all do our part and wear masks to protect each other.”

More than 11.5 million Americans have tested positive for the virus – including an additional 1 million in just the past week – leading to nearly 250,000 deaths, say health officials.

The current trends are daunting and frightening. If the nation stays on its current course, hospital leaders are concerned that more healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed as a shortage of healthy caregivers makes it difficult to handle a rapidly increasing number of patients. Unfortunately, this is already happening in parts of the country.

The next several months will be critical. Though there has been positive news about vaccine development, no one knows for certain when those vaccines will be ready for widespread use. In the meantime, everyone must remain vigilant, take precautions, and follow public health orders.

The country has reached a tipping point. The power to do what is right is now in the hands of everyone, everywhere.

A public service message to #MaskUp will run in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. Additionally, hospitals and health systems across the country will continue to unite to share these messages regionally.

The message reads:

“As the top nationally-ranked hospitals, we know it’s tough that we all need to do our part and keep wearing masks. But here’s what we also know: The science has not changed. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. So, please join us as we all embrace this simple ask: Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives.”

The public service effort will also include messages on digital platforms, social media, online information, links to vital health resources, and more to reach a broader audience. Combining resources demonstrates that these health organizations are working together, will accomplish this today, and will get through this together.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to recent studies that have shown face masks successfully limit the spread of COVID-19. Wearing face masks protects in these key ways:

  1. Protecting the wearer against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulates
  2. Preventing exposure of those around the wearer

In addition to masking, the CDC suggests that everyone minimize the number of non-household contacts, maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet and limit the amount of time around others, especially indoors and in poorly ventilated areas. Further information about masking guidelines, such as choosing a mask and how to properly wear a mask, is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.

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