Wildfire smoke isn’t the only reason to wear a mask outdoors
COVID-19 continues to be a threat in the Rogue Valley and elsewhere, claiming nearly 500 deaths in Oregon alone. Yet it is not uncommon to see people walking closely together outdoors on our campuses without masks or wearing masks inappropriately, such as under the chin. Most striking is that some of these are Asante employees, who may be headed for a coffee or lunch break.
The governor’s order on masking applies not only to indoor public spaces and businesses, but also to outdoor public spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including on Asante campuses.
- Masks, face coverings or face shields are currently required statewide for offices and indoor public spaces. These include grocery stores, pharmacies, public transit, personal services providers, restaurants, bars, retail stores and more.
- Masks, face coverings or face shields are also required in all outdoor public spaces when maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet is not possible.
Asante’s Universal Pandemic Precautions policy offers more details on masking and physical distancing inside our facilities, but masking is also required outdoors on our campuses when physical distance cannot be maintained in accordance with the governor’s order. As we’ve shared before, we’re required to “work apart” to keep ourselves, our co-workers and our patients safe — and this doesn’t stop at our buildings’ doors.
This means we must:
- Eliminate or reduce the number of in-person huddles and staff meetings. Find electronic alternatives.
- For necessary in-person clinical meetings, stand several steps apart and limit the number of attendees.
- Avoid congregating at clinical stations and in break rooms.
- Choose a computer at the end of the desk far from colleagues.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Sit six feet away from colleagues at meal times.
- Do not share food family style.
- Maintain six feet between colleagues while outdoors on Asante property and other public outdoor spaces, or wear a mask if physical distance can’t be maintained.
- Clinicians stand six feet apart from colleagues and patients except during examinations.
- Speak up when colleagues are not practicing physical distancing.
On or off campus, Asante employees set an example for others to follow in this pandemic. We must uphold our commitment to safe practices and act as good role models for our community by adhering to proper masking and physical distancing outdoors as well as inside our buildings.
If you have a question, please contact the author or relevant department directly.