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Why we’re asking you to wear a mask in our hospitals

We’ve heard a lot of feedback during screening about the requirement that everyone entering the building must wear a mask. You may recall that on April 1, Asante went live with mandatory masking in our facilities. The announcement directed workers…

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We’ve heard a lot of feedback during screening about the requirement that everyone entering the building must wear a mask. You may recall that on April 1, Asante went live with mandatory masking in our facilities. The announcement directed workers to our current flu masking policy, which is well known in our facilities.

We recognize that we have a strong workforce that boasts a 90% flu vaccination rate, and many are not as familiar with the masking ins and outs.

There is a critical difference between influenza and COVID-19: None of our Asante work force has immunity to this novel coronavirus and there is no vaccine. This means that unlike flu season, all Asante staff members must wear masks or face coverings anywhere they are likely to encounter patients.

To provide clarity, a new Emerging Novel Virus masking policy will be drafted outlining the following guidance for wearing masks.

Who is affected: Employees, medical staff, visitors, contractors and patients.

Where masks must be worn: In all Asante facilities and public spaces where in-person interactions happen. Staff may remove masks to eat, drink or when they’re in private offices.

Why we’re doing this: The CDC recommends wearing simple masks or face coverings in public to limit exposure when social distancing is not possible. The more we start to understand COVID-19, we recognize asymptomatic spread of the virus and wearing a simple mask or face covering helps protect those around us.

Wearing a face mask does not replace the need for physical distance, regular hand hygiene, avoiding touching our face and staying home when we’re sick. These combined form a strong bundle to prevent the spread of illnesses in our facilities.

 

Simple mask

Required in clinical areas for patients with respiratory symptoms.

Cloth mask or face covering

For staff working in non-clinical areas, visitors and asymptomatic patients.

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