SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health has joined with some 100 of the nation’s top hospitals and health systems who have come together with an urgent plea for all Americans to “mask up” as part of a national campaign called #MaskUp.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the nation and locally, Baystate Health is pleased to take a leadership position among some of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals to send an important and life-saving message,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “That message is that wearing a facemask is our best chance at slowing the surging COVID-19 pandemic across the country and here in Western Massachusetts.”
The current trends are daunting and frightening. If the nation stays on its current course, hospital leaders are increasingly concerned that more healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed as shortages of healthy caregivers make it difficult to handle a rapidly increasing number of patients. Unfortunately, this is already happening in parts of our country.
“As the top nationally ranked hospitals, we know it’s tough that we all need to do our part and keep wearing masks,” the coalition said in a public-service message issued through national media outlets. “But here’s what we also know: the science has not changed. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. So, please join us as we all embrace this simple ask: Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to recent studies that have shown face masks successfully limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. Wearing a mask protects in two key ways: by protecting the wearer against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulates and by preventing exposure of those around the wearer.
In addition to masking, the CDC suggests that everyone minimize the number of non-household contacts, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet, and limit the amount of time around others, especially while indoors and in poorly ventilated areas. For further information about masking guidelines, including how to choose and properly wear a mask, visit cdc.org.