When it comes to preventing the transmission of COVID-19, infectious disease experts across the country have been giving the same advice for months:
- Wash your hands.
- Wear a mask.
- Social distance.
Why do they keep singing the same song? Because it works.
As the Centers for Disease Control notes, “Clinical and laboratory studies show cloth face coverings reduce the spray of [respiratory] droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”
Now more than ever, as we are seeing surges of coronavirus patients in communities across the U.S., it’s important to do those three things – wash your hands, wear a mask, and social distance. CommonSpirit Health operates more than 1,000 health care sites in 21 states – we have seen the devastating impact of COVID-19, and how quickly it can spread.
“One of the most important things to remember is that wearing a mask is about keeping others safe. A mask serves as a barrier for transmission,” said Barbara Pelletreau, senior VP of patient safety for CommonSpirit Health. Bottom line – if you’re wearing a mask you’re preventing others from getting it, but you’re still at risk if others aren’t wearing one.
“It takes a community to commit to wearing masks to prevent the spread,” Pelletreau said. “Preventing coronavirus is a team sport.”
CommonSpirit Health has implemented strict safety measures across care sites to keep patients and visitors safe, and those measures are here to stay until there is a vaccine or COVID-19 has been eradicated, Pelletreau said.
“It’s a real cultural change for us to be wearing masks, but it’s an imperative public health issue.”