Leaders of Utah’s four largest health care systems and the Utah Hospital Association launched a new public awareness initiative named #MaskUpUtah. They are encouraging the use of face masks in public and work settings throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is to prevent the spread of potential COVID from you to someone else. That’s the key to remember,” said Dr. Michael Baumann, chief medical officer for MountainStar Healthcare. “This is a health care issue; this should not be a political issue. Masking is about basic health and preventing the spread of disease to family, friends and even people you don’t know."
As of Tuesday, 62% of all ICU beds in the state were occupied for healthcare patents, including for COVID-19 patients.
While accurate information about COVID-19 continues to be clinically reviewed and verified, there are several facts clinicians agree on:
- Many people who are actively spreading COVID-19 may have very mild or no symptoms. Because they feel well, they continue to engage with their communities and family and do not realize that they need to self-isolate. Wearing a mask while at work and in public settings will help curb community spread from individuals with minimal or no symptoms.
- A lot of misinformation has been spreading recently about facial masking. However, clinicians agree that face coverings, when worn appropriately, block most infectious droplets originating from the individual wearing the face covering. Thus, blocking transmission into the community. To what level a face covering protects the individual from infectious droplets is dependent on the type of face covering the material is made from (e.g., surgical mask, cloth face covering). N95 masks used in medical and industrial settings provide the highest level of protection and are reserved for the healthcare setting.
- Frequent washing of hands, keeping a distance of 6’ from others and wearing a mask are basic hygiene steps that should continue to be done to stop the spread of COVID-19. While not trendy, these steps continue to be effective.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.
Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. More information.
More information about #MaskUpUtah
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center
Photo: Getty Images