Welia Health Asks Patients to Wear Masks
At Welia Health, keeping you, our patients, and our communities safe is our top priority. We continue to follow recommendations and protocols established by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the CDC’s recent recommendation cloth face coverings, which we commonly refer to as face masks.
Beginning Monday, April 27, we are asking all patients to bring and wear cloth face masks upon entering any Welia Health facility.
Why? In cases where is not possible or practical to maintain six feet of separation between individuals, in hospitals and clinics for example, wearing cloth face masks may help slow the spread of COVID-19. Cloth face masks help protect the people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
Welia Health hospital and clinic healthcare providers have been wearing masks for several weeks, and beginning Monday, all staff will be wearing masks as well.
If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. If you wish to make your own, read the CDC guidance on sew and no-sew masks or Allina Health’s guide to making a face mask, including an instructional video.
When is a face mask necessary?
A cloth face mask should be worn whenever you are in a community setting, especially in situations where you may be near people. These settings include grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics. Face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.
Cloth face masks should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
What about surgical or N95 masks?
Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance.
What should I know about wearing a face mask?
The CDC offers the following guidelines for cloth face masks. They should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
How do I remove a face mask?
Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your face mask and wash your hands immediately, for at least 20 seconds, after removing.
How do I clean my face mask?
Cloth face masks should be washed following each use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
Protecting our patients, staff, and communities is our top priority. Wearing cloth face masks are one more way way we can all work together to contain this virus.