Masks important, as local hospitals must again restrict visitors

Jul 22, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

As more local residents and visitors test positive for COVID-19 in the Vacationland area, the mandates to wear protective face coverings are increasing in many Ohio counties. Lula Parriott was one of the few cautious visitors at Lakeview Park in Port Clinton last weekend, wearing a face covering as she enjoyed a balmy morning on the Lake Erie shoreline.

The North Coast Healthcare Collaborative, consisting of Magruder Hospital, Fisher-Titus, Firelands Regional Health System and Bellevue Hospital, is urging the community to follow recommendations from Gov. Mike DeWine and wear face coverings when in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Due to the increased number of cases of COVID-19, the four hospitals are also reinstating visitor restrictions. More information on specific details of the restrictions, and other advice on slowing the spread of the virus, can found on each facility’s website.

The cloth face covering, when worn over the nose and mouth, acts as a barrier to help prevent the spray of respiratory droplets when someone coughs,

sneezes, or talks. The use of masks is particularly important when in close contact with others. Research shows it is the main way that COVID-19 spreads among people in close proximity with others.

“Masks are a very important part of helping slow the spread, in addition to proper hand hygiene and physical distancing,” said Matt Mattner, chief operating officer for Fisher-Titus. “This is because COVID-19 can spread even if a person is not showing symptoms. The mask you are wearing will help protect others.”

According to the CDC, the correct way to wear a mask is to:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

It’s important to note that masks should not be pulled down around the neck or put up on the forehead. Also, try not to touch the face covering. If you do, wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer to disinfect.

To properly clean your cloth mask, wash in the washing machine with laundry detergent on the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering. Then dry the mask on the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

“Consumer masks have increasingly become more available,” explained Firelands Chief Medical Officer Scott Campbell, MD, FACEP. “At Firelands, we have found success in practicing social distancing and masking throughout our facilities. We strongly encourage our communities to help us in this fight against COVID-19.”

The North Coast Healthcare Collaborative is also encouraging the community to limit public gatherings, practice physical distancing, and use credible sources for information on the pandemic, including local hospitals and health departments.

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