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‘MaskUp’ for yourself and the community

As COVID-19 cases rise across our region, you may be wondering, “What can I do to reduce the spread?” The answer is simple. Wear a mask.

Wearing a mask or face covering when you go out in public is the single most effective tool we have until there is a vaccine, which is why Trinity Health is teaming up with Minot’s First District Health Unit and several of the region’s critical access hospitals in a public awareness campaign to promote mask use and other safe behaviors amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Ten CAHs have joined our coalition: CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake, CHI St. Alexius Health Garrison, CHI St. Alexius Health Williston, Kenmare Community Hospital, Mountrail County Medical Center-Stanley, Presentation Medical Center- Rolla, St. Andrews Health Center-Bottineau, St. Aloisius Medical Center-Harvey, St. Luke’s Medical Center- Crosby, and Tioga Medical Center.

“MaskUp Save Lives” will use billboards, public service announcements, and shareable social media content to urge people to adopt the following behaviors:

– Wear a mask when out in public.

– Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others who are not in your immediate family.

– Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t readily available.

– Stay home if you’re feeling sick.

The Journal of American Medical Association recently emphasized that masks do indeed save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reviewed the latest science and affirmed that cloth face coverings are critical in the fight against COVID-19 to reduce spread of the disease.

Wearing a mask is a sign of respect for others and their health. You wear a mask to protect them, and they wear masks to protect you. It shows mutual caring and respect for the well-being of other people.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said it best: “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.”

Masking is a simple and proven way to protect against COVID-19. The protection of our own staff’s safety during this time has been a testament to the value of masking and other safety measures such as social distancing and hand hygiene.

We extend a sincere thank you to the community leaders who have stepped up to support this campaign. We all have a responsibility to slow the spread to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

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